UPDATED: 12/22/12 8 AM:
We’ve announced it today, under that umbrella title of the Los Angeles News Group title instead of a specific newspaper in the chain such as the Daily News, Daily Breeze, Press-Telegram, Tribune, etc. All for one and one for all.
Aside from the ideas we had of who deserved it, we also wanted to bestow special recognition of the So Cal star women athletes of the 2012 Summer Olympics, who we’ve put into one block candidacy:
==Allyson Felix, the former L.A. Baptist High star and USC-educated sprinter, who broke through after taking silver in both Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008 to finally capture gold in the 200 meters at London. Add to that her participation on two winning relay teams, becoming the first woman since 1988 (Florence Griffith-Joyner) to take home three gold medals. It was plenty enough to have her be rewarded with the 2012 Female World Athlete of the Year from the IAAF.
==Serena Williams was a challenger to Felix (as well as eventual winner Gabby Douglas) for the Associated Press female athlete of the year. The Compton native dominated women’s singles in London – a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Maria Sharapova in the final – as well as winning gold with sister Venus in women’s doubles. This came just a couple of weeks after winning her 14th major – on the same Wimbledon Centre Court – and was followed by No. 15 at the U.S. Open. Williams also just won the WTA Championships in Istanbul, knocking out Sharapova in the championship.
Carmelita Jeter, the former Bishop Montgomery High and Cal State Dominguez Hills sprinter, won a gold (4×100 meter anchor in a 9.70 split, helping the team break the world record), silver (missing gold in the 100 meters by .03 seconds) and bronze (200 meters). When a mother cheetah gave birth at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C. to two cubs, one of them was named Lita the Cheeta, in Jeter’s honor of being the fastest U.S. female runner.
==Misty May-Treanor and Kerry Walsh Jennings were the So Cal Olympic prime-time beach volleyball mavens, taking gold for the third straight Games – even as Jennings battled with pink eye and May-Treanor found out she was playing while pregnant, expecting a baby any time now with husband Matt Treanor, who spent last season with the Dodgers.
==Kim Rhode, the El Monte resident born in Whittier and educated at Cal Poly Pomona, medaled for the fifth consecutive Olympic game, taking gold in skeet shooting in London some 16 years after winning gold in the double trap in ’96 at Atlanta.
==USC’s Rebecca Soni won three medals – gold in the 200 breaststroke (breaking the world record in the semifinals and final), silver in the 100 breaststroke and another gold in the U.S. women’s 4×100 medley relay.
==Diamond Bar’s Alex Morgan – only 28 goals and 21 assists in 31 matches with the U.S. women’s national soccer team that won gold in London. She’s up for the FIFA World Player of the Year honors.
==Do we dare overlook Candace Parker? The star of the WNBA’s Sparks, who put them back into the playoffs, had 21 points and 11 rebounds in the U.S. women’s gold-medal basketball game victory over France.