Jamie Whitmore up for SportsWoman of the Year

By Jamie M. Blanchard | Aug. 28, 2014, 2 p.m. (ET)

Jamie Whitmore is ranked No. 1 in track and road cycling.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. ― U.S. Paralympics cyclist Jamie Whitmore is a finalist for the 2014 Individual SportsWoman of the Year Award, an annual honor presented by the Women’s Sports Foundation along with the Team SportsWoman of the Year Award. Whitmore, a world champion para-cyclist, is the only U.S. Paralympic-eligible athlete nominated in either category.

The public can vote now through Sept. 8 at 11:59 p.m. EDT at http://wspr.tc/VoteSOY2014. The individual and team winners will be determined based on the highest combined share of a public vote (50-percent of composite) and the Women’s Sports Foundation’s Awards Committee vote (50-percent of composite).

“It is a huge honor to be nominated for the Women’s Sports Foundation SportsWoman of the Year Award alongside such great female athletes,” said Whitmore, a Paralympic hopeful who hopes to make her first U.S. Paralympic Team in 2016. “It really means a lot to me to be considered for this honor as a Paralympic athlete along with the able-bodied athletes. I hope everyone will support me in the voting just as they did for the ESPYs.”

Earlier this summer, Whitmore was named the Best Female Athlete with a Disability at the ESPY Awards.

Athletes were considered for the 2014 Individual and Team Sportswoman of the Year Award based on their athletic achievements between Aug. 1, 2013-July 31, 2014.

Within that period, Whitmore claimed two world titles (road race, time trial) at the 2013 International Cycling Union Para-cycling Road World Championships, where she set two world records, and two world titles at the 2014 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships. Last month at the final 2014 UCI Para-Cycling Road World Cup in Segovia, Spain, she won the time trial and road race gold medals to secure the overall title in the women’s C3 class.

Whitmore is ranked No. 1 in both track and road cycling in her classification. She begins competition Friday at the 2014 UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships, in Greenville, South Carolina, which will be streamed live on USParalympics.org on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1.  

Whitmore is a relative newcomer to Paralympic sport but has always been a champion athlete. One of XTERRA’s most winningest pros ever with 37 career victories, she owns XTERRA USA, European and world championship titles and has multiple victories in the professional mountain bike circuit.

In March 2008, at 31, she was diagnosed with cancer ― a spindle cell sarcoma had wrapped around the sciatic nerve in her lower left leg. She eventually lost the use of her lower left leg due to a condition known as drop foot. Told she would never bike again, Whitmore had to relearn how to walk.

After giving birth to twin boys in January 2010, Whitmore got back on the bike. She won her first Paralympic national title on the roads in 2012 as she claimed the C3 time trial race and two months later, she finished the grueling Leadville 100 mile mountain bike race. 

Paralympic skier Marie Bochet of France is also nominated for the Individual SportsWoman of the Year, following a four gold medal performance at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games. The standing skier stood atop the podium for the women’s downhill, women’s giant slalom, women’s super-combined and women’s super-G races.

Paralympic-eligible athletes have received the award previously. Most recently, U.S. swimmer Erin Popovich, who won seven gold medals at the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games, claimed the 2005 Individual SportsWoman of the Year Award.