No Swimmers Nominated for 2014 ESPY Awards

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

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when I saw this on twitter…I immediately assumed Katie Ledecky would be on the list…and blamed my phone browser for the reason I couldn’t see her name…

clearly it wasn’t the browser…

I love espn…but it’s excessive coverage of those three sports drives me insane. you can’t be the leader in sports if you’re completely bias in what you report. I better see a 30 for 30 on Michael Phelps or Katie Ledecky someday…

Also…unless I’m wrong, Ledecky’s records this weekend didn’t even make sports center top 10!!


The top 10 plays are really meant for eye-catching highlights, not performances usually. Yes, they’ll usually find a way to work in the highlight of someone’s 400th home run, but the vast majority of plays are those that don’t set all-time records, but win single games or are exciting to watch.

SC Top 10 is buzzer beaters and dunks over averaging the most assists per game or playing really good defense, to use a basketball analogy. Swimming is not really designed for that kind of spotlight.

bobo gigi



I would add to that : very pathetic


It’s this “baseball/basketball/football/and sometimes hockey” attitude, with the grudging addition of soccer to placate the rising Latin population of the US, that kept so many young athletes who might have been outstanding swimmers from staying with the sport for so many years! I think it’s worst in the northeast US, where the change of seasons supports this mindset. Thanks to Phelps’ success this has started to change a little. Ignoring Franklin and Ledecky’s accomplishments also demonstrates the backseat FEMALE sports accomplishments take in the US in general. It may be different in CA or FL, but here in New England the number of female swimmers is often double that of male swimmers. I really hope Franklin/Ledecky can have a Phelpsian… Read more »

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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