U.S. Paralympians highlight ESPY Award nominations

By Katie Branham | June 24, 2014, 5:23 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The nominees for the 22nd annual ESPY Awards were announced Tuesday, including categories for Best Male and Female Athlete with a Disability, all 10 of the nominees are Paralympians or Paralympic hopefuls.

The athletes nominated for the Best Male Athlete with a Disability category are:

Mark Bathum (Mercer Island, Washington) - Bathum won two silver medals at the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in the men’s visually impaired super-G and super combined. Bathum excelled in the speed disciplines all season long, winning all three downhill and all four super-G races he entered.

Declan Farmer (Tampa, Florida) - At the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, 16-year-old Farmer scored two goals and had an assist in Team USA’s 3-0 win against Canada to secure a spot in the gold medal game versus Russia. Farmer also had a goal and an assist in his first Paralympic Winter Games competition against Italy, in which the team won 5-1.

Raymond Martin (Jersey City, New Jersey) - Martin became the first man to win five gold medals at an International Paralympic Committee Athletics World Championships as he won the men’s T52 100, 200, 400, 800 and 1500 meter races at the 2013 edition of the championships in Lyon, France. Martin also swept the same five events at the U.S. Paralympics Track & Field National Championships. 

Mike Shea (Castaic, California) - Shea won the silver medal in the men’s first-ever men’s Paralympic snowboard cross event at the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games. Shea won four of seven world cup events and the first ever overall World Cup title. He and U.S. teammate Evan Strong are tied at number one in the world rankings in the Paralympic snowboard cross event.

Evan Strong (Maui, Hawaii) - Strong won the first-ever gold medal in the men’s Paralympic snowboard cross event at the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games. Strong also picked up victories at the 2014 National Championships, the World Cup La Molina and the World Cup Copper Mountain. 

In the women’s category for athlete with a disability, the following athletes were nominated: 

Minda Dentler (Spokane, Washington) – A former paratriathlon national champion, Dentler became the first female handcyclist to complete the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii. Dentler also won the handcycle division of the New York City Marathon.

Oksana Masters (Louisville, Kentucky ) - Masters garnered the first U.S. women’s Paralympic cross-country medal in 20 years with her silver medal win in the 12-kilomter sitting event at the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games. She followed up that stellar performance with a second medal, winning bronze in the women’s 5km cross-country sitting event.

Tatyana McFadden (Clarksville, Maryland) - In a dramatic fight to the finish, McFadden won a silver medal in the women’s 1-kilometer cross-country sprint event to win the first Paralympic Winter Games medal of her career. A dual sport athlete, McFadden also had a stellar 2013-2014 track & field season. In 2013, she became the first athlete to win four major world marathons in a single year after winning the women’s wheelchair division of the 2013 London, Boston, Chicago and New York City Marathons. She also became the first woman to win six world titles at the 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships in Lyon, France. She won gold in the women’s T54 100-, 200-, 400-, 800-, 1,500- and 5,000-meter events. In 2014, she won the London Marathon, while setting a new course record, and also won the Boston Marathon.

Laurie Stephens (Wenham, Massachusetts) - Stephens won two bronze medals in women’s alpine skiing at the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. She racked up bronze in the downhill event, and a second in the super-G, and posted a fourth place finish in the giant slalom and super combined events in the women’s sitting class. Stephens won the women’s sitting Overall World Cup Speed Globe and was the second overall in the women’s sitting world cup standings.

Jamie Whitmore (Mount Aukum, California) - At the recent 2014 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships, Whitmore took first place in the time trial and pursuit events, setting world records en route to both gold medals. In the 2013 UCI Road World Cup series, she was undefeated in competition as she won all six C3 road race and time trial events, and at the world championships, she also swept her class and won gold in both the road race and time trial.

The 2014 ESPYS will be televised live on July 16 at 9:00 p.m. ET on ESPN from the Nokia Theater at L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles, California.

You can vote online at espn.go.com/espys/. Voting ends July 16th at 9:00 p.m. ET.