Simone Biles accepted the Best Female Athlete award onstage at The 2017 ESPYS on July 12, 2017 in Los Angeles.
Fans will have to wait until July 10 to see who is crowned Best Female Athlete at the 2019 ESPYS, but we know it’ll be a U.S. Olympic gold medalist.
One of the annual award show’s marquee categories, Best Female Athlete was just one of many categories in which Team USA athletes were well represented. But this one will be particularly tough to decide, with Simone Biles (gymnastics), Alex Morgan (soccer), Mikaela Shiffrin (alpine skiing) and Breanna Stewart (basketball) representing a stacked field.
Another all-Team USA, all-gold medal category is Best WNBA Player. Americans Elena Delle Donne, Candace Parker, Stewart and Diana Taurasi are all nominated. Three of the four athletes up for Best NBA Player are also gold-medal-winning Olympians in Kevin Durant, James Harden and Paul George. Klay Thompson, who joined Durant and George in Rio, is also up for best record-breaking performance, for breaking the NBA record for 3-pointers in a game.
The U.S. Paralympic team is also well represented. Three-time Paralympian Mark Barr (paratriathlon), two-time gold medalist Declan Farmer (sled hockey), six-time medalist Oz Sanchez (cycling) and 2016 Paralympian Daniel Romanchuk are nominated in the Best Male Athlete with a Disability category. In the women’s category, eight-time Paralympic medalist Oksana Masters is nominated with 17-time medalist Tatyana McFadden (track and field), two-time gold medalist Shawn Morelli (cycling) and gold medalist Allysa Seely (paratriathlon).
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While the U.S. women’s soccer team pursues another Women’s World Cup title, it’s no wonder several of those athletes are nominated as well. Olympian Lindsey Horan is nominated for Best NWSL Player while her national team teammate Julie Ertz is nominated for Best Play.
After her thrilling return to tennis in 2018, four-time Olympic gold medalist Serena Williams is nominated for Best Female Tennis Player. And after winning an Olympic gold medal and world title in halfpipe, snowboarder Chloe Kim is nominated for Best Female Action Sports Athlete.
Mixed martial arts may not yet be an Olympic sport, but several Team USA Olympians with a background in other combat sports received nominations as well. Olympic wrestlers Daniel Cormier and Henry Cejudo — the latter of whom won a gold medal at the Olympic Games Beijing 2008 — are now professional fighters nominated in the Best MMA Fighter category. Also, former MMA fighter turned pro wrestler Ronda Rousey is nominated for Best WWE Moment. Rousey won an Olympic bronze medal in judo in 2008.
Voting is open now for fans to make their choices at ESPYS.com. Voting closes at the start of the live broadcast of the awards on Wednesday, July 10 at 8 p.m. Eastern.
Todd Kortemeier is a sportswriter, editor and children’s book author from Minneapolis. He is a contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.