Olympic gold medalist alpine skier Lindsey Vonn and fellow gold medalist snowboarder Kelly Clark are comprise an unprecedented half of the Female Athlete of the Year ballot for the 2011 ESPY Awards, which air live Wednesday, July 13 at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN.
The Athlete of the Year category is the highest individual honor for women with Vonn as the incumbent. Her 2010 victory was the first time a snow sports athlete had won the top honor in the ESPYs’ 18 year history. Vonn and Clark are up against WNBA star Lauren Jackson and NCAA hoop standout Maya Moore. For out mountain ladies to be representing is a huge honor for both of them.
Vonn, the 2010 Olympic gold medalist for ownhill, rocketed through last winter to capture three more Audi FIS Alpine World Cup titles to bring her career total to 12 – more than any other American skier – male or female. She also boosted her career World Cup win total to 41, also a U.S. record. However, Vonn broke another record “off” the mountain this year being the youngest person to receive the Preis Herbert Award, presented to her a few weeks ago in Switzerland.
Clark paved the way for snowboarding in 2002 when she became the first athlete to win the ESPY for Best Action Sports Athlete after winning the Olympic gold medal for halfpipe. Two years later the award was split into a male and female category. She is also nominated for Female Action Sport Athlete along with Canadian freeskier Sarah Burke.
The ladies still need yours votes, as all the mountain athletes do. For the complete list, you can go to The Ski Channel’s previous article HERE. The ESPYs are determined entirely by popular vote so your vote DOES MATER. As a reminder, voting closes July 9 at midnight ET.
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(Photo of Kelly Clark to the right by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images North America)