No swimmers have been nominated for an ESPY award in 2014, ending a run of several successful years in a row with swimming climbing up the ESPY ladder.
ESPN has unveiled the nominees for their annual sports-themed awards show, and not a single swimmer is on the list. The closest to an aquatic sport athlete of any kind is Minda Dentler, who has been nominated in the Female Athlete with a Disability category.
That’s a category in which swimming has dominated since it was created in 2005. Six out of the 9 awards ever have been given to swimmers, including the last three: two to Jessica Long, and the 2011 award to Mallory Weggemann.
In 2013, Missy Franklin (Female Athlete of the Year) and Michael Phelps (Male Athlete of the Year) were both nominated in the show’s most prestigious category. While neither won, each took home the U.S. Olympic Athlete of the Year award for their respective genders. That category this year is filled with nominees exclusively from winter sports, as 2014 is a Winter Olympic year.
Franklin and Katie Ledecky would have been the two most obvious swimming nominees. Franklin, who at the time was just 19 years old, won 6 gold medals at last year’s long course World Championships, which gave her more from that meet than any woman in history. Ledecky won four golds and in the process obliterated the World Records in both the 800 and 1500 meter freestyles. Ledecky was named the FINA Swimmer of the Year.
Past ESPY award winners from swimming:
- Female Athlete With a Disability, 2013, Jessica Long
- Female Athlete With a Disability, 2012, Jessica Long
- Female Athlete With a Disability, 2011, Mallory Weggemann
- Record Breaking Performance, 2010, Michael Phelps
- Male Athlete, 2009, Michael Phelps
- Best Moment, 2009, Men’s 400 free relay at Olympics
- Championship Performance, 2009, Michael Phelps
- Record-Breaking Performance, 2009, Michael Phelps
- Male U.S. Olympian, 2009, Michael Phelps
- Best Comeback, 2009, Dara Torres (Special Award)
- Female Athlete With a Disability, 2009, Erin Popovich
- Female Athlete With a Disability, 2007, Jessica Long
- Female Athlete With a Disability, 2005, Erin Popovich
- Female Athlete, 1997, Amy Van Dyken