Reigning national champion Brady Clark (Lynnwood, Wash.) has been named USA Curling's top male athlete for 2013.
Clark, 35, who curls out of Seattle's Granite Curling Club, skipped his team to its first men's national championship title and led Team USA to a ninth place finish at the 2013 World Men's Championship where he was the top ranked skip in shooting percentage throughout most of the round robin.
"I was very honored when I got the news," Clark said about learning he was named curling's top male athlete for 2013. "My thoughts right away turned to my team. Curling has always been a team game and always will be. Your team is helping you make shots. It takes a team around you to make every shot."
This is the first time that Clark has been named the association's Male Athlete of the Year. He previously was a member of two teams honored as Team of the Year.
"Winning an award like this is definitely an honor, but for me the first time you ever win a national championship is pretty special. Those definitely are the highest honors. An award like this recognizes a lot of hard work that went in to being able to perform at a high level," said Clark, who works as a senior business analyst for Liberty Mutual.
"The team was incredibly happy for me and exited for me to be honored. Our team ultimately is a great team. I know all of them felt strongly that I was performing well at the worlds ... the Nationals as well," Clark said. "Being able to elevate our game for those key games was really important. We knew that we had to win four games in a row [at Nationals], and we had to play four of the top teams. Having to beat Brown, McCormick, Shuster and then George in the final - any time you run into those great teams, it's going to be a battle. It was great to have that experience where we had to win multiple games in a row with our backs up against the wall."