Olympic triple triple gold medallist Usain Bolt and compatriot Elaine Thompson, who secured two gold medals and one silver at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, were chosen as the male and female athletes of the year.
USA’s Noah Lyles and Sydney McLaughlin clinched the junior athletes of the year. Lyles won gold medals in the 100m and 4x100m at the IAAF World U20 Championships Bydgoszcz 2016, while McLaughlin set a world U20 record of 54.15 in the 400m hurdles at the US Olympic Trials and went on to reach the semi-finals in that event at the Olympic Games.
The finalists were chosen from a shortlist of nominees submitted by sports journalists spanning English and Spanish-speaking Caribbean during the month of October.
“It has been a very good year for the sport in the area and on behalf of the NACAC Council I congratulate the winners of the categories,” said NACAC President Victor Lopez. “We look forward to another exciting year with our athletes and fans.”
Bolt is the first man to win gold in the sprints at three consecutive Olympic Games and is now a six time winner of the IAAF top prize.
Meanwhile, Thompson enjoyed the season of her life becoming the first woman since 1988 to win the sprint double at the Olympics. She was the only Jamaican nominated among the 10 nominees for the female World Athlete of the Year honour.