Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal, Lebron James, Lionel Messi and More on the Running for the Athlete of the Year Award [See the Complete List of Nominees HERE]

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By Rachelle Corpuz | December 4, 2013 10:43 AM EST

The United States Sports Academy (USSA) annually gives honours and awards to sports personalities for their successes and accomplishments in their respective fields. The 2013 list of nominees showcases a total of 24 male and female athletes from 11 different countries in 12 various sports trades.

Who do you think deserves to be crowned as Athlete of the Year Award? Let us have a round up and see who made it on their list.

The nominees for the male athlete of the year includes The tennis superstar from Spain, Rafael Nadal, who claimed the top spot in the world rankings after making a huge comeback, following his seventh-month long injury.  Barca superstar Lionel Messi, who was just awarded on Monday the Best Player Award by Liga de Futbol Professional, is also in the running.  Of course, Miami Heat forward Lebron James wouldn't be left out as he has helped his team win two NBA Championships consecutively. The Filipino boxer Manny Pacquaio is also being considered after his convincing victory against Brandon Rios, following his two straight losses against Timothy Bradley and Juan Manual Marquez. The other contenders for the male athlete of the year award are Usain Bolt, Joe Flacco, Chris Froome, Wilson Kipsang, Todd Ligety, David Ortiz, Kohei Uchimura and Tiger Woods.

For the female athlete of the year award, World No. 1 Serena Williams, who won the 2013 U.S. Open and 2013 French Open, is one of the leading contenders.  Simone Boles, Missy Franklin, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Katie Ledecky, Maya Moore, Inbee Park, Suzann Peterson, Mikaela Shiffrin, Abby Wambach and Kim Yuna are on the nominee list, too.

This will be the 29th consecutive year that USSA will give the award, in partnership with National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) Sports. Fans can support the athlete they are rooting for by casting a vote online. Online voting will run until midnight of Dec 20. The winner will be announced on Christmas Day.

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