COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Notable performances during February from biathletes Lowell Bailey, of Lake Placid, and Susan Dunklee, of Barton, Vermont, along with the bobsled team of Elana Meyers Taylor and Kehri Jones earned the United States Olympic Committee's Best of February honors. Bailey, Dunklee and the bobsled duo are among the athletes and teams eligible for Best of the Year honors for 2017.
Bailey made history on Feb. 16 when he became the first American to win a biathlon world championship, taking the gold medal in the men's 20-kilometer race at the IBU World Championships in Hochfilzen, Austria. Just five days after becoming the first athlete to qualify for the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team (his fourth), Bailey struck gold in 48:07.4, finishing 3.3 seconds ahead of five-time world medalist Ondrej Moravec of Czech Republic. Bailey also finished fourth in the sprint, sixth in the pursuit and sixth in the mass start events, all career bests at his 11th world championship.
Dunklee made history on Feb. 19 when she gave Team USA its first-ever women's individual medal at a world championship by taking silver in the women's 12.5-kilometer mass start at the IBU World Championships in Hochfilzen, Austria. Four days after qualifying for her second Olympic team, Dunklee crossed the finish line in 33:18.4, propelled by a perfect performance on the shooting range, hitting all 20 targets. She was only 4.6 seconds behind Germany's Laura Dahlmeier, who dominated the women's competition with five gold medals.
Lowell Bailey, of Lake Placid, leads a pack of skiers Sunday during the 4x7.5-kilometer men’s biathlon relay race at the IBU World Cup event in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Bailey was given USOC’s Best of February award this week.
(Photo — U.S. Biathlon/Nordic Focus)
Meyers Taylor drove to her fourth and fifth consecutive gold medals in February, the final of which was her second world championship title in Konigssee, Germany. The title is Meyers Taylor's second in her career, and earlier in the month she won the world cup race in Igls, Austria.
Each Team USA governing body may nominate one female, one male and one team per discipline. An internal nominating committee selects five nominees from both the male and female categories, and three from the team category to advance to the voting round. Votes received from NGB representatives and select members of the media account for 50 percent of the final tally, with the other half determined by online fan voting via TeamUSA.org/Awards.
Each of the five monthly men's and women's finalists, and three team finalists automatically qualify for consideration for the 2017 Team USA Awards presented by Dow Best of the Year. Visit TeamUSA.org for a complete list of monthly finalists from the 2016-17 qualification period, which runs from October 2016-September 2017. The 2017 Best of the Year Awards will be held in December.