ESPN Action Sports
Matt Morning/Shazamm/ ESPN ImagesKelly Clark, who’s been nominated for Best Female Athlete for the 2011 ESPYs.
The ESPYs (July 13, 9 p.m. ET on ESPN/ESPNHD) have announced the nominees for the Class of 2011, and the list includes seven of the top X Games and Winter X athletes for Best Action Sports Athlete. Snowboarder Kelly Clark is also nominated in the Best Female Athlete category.
The ESPYs will be televised live from the Nokia Theatre at L.A. LIVE. The ESPYs will be hosted for the second time by Saturday Night Live’s Seth Meyers.
The ESPY nominees for Best Male Action Sport Athlete are:
Kevin Rolland, Skiing
After winning Ski SuperPipe at both Winter X Games 14 and the inaugural Winter X Games Europe in 2010, Kevin Rolland successfully defended both titles in 2011. After making history at Winter X Games 14 by becoming the first skier to throw three doubles in the same run, Rolland continued his dominance, winning two of three Winter Dew Tour Superpipe competitions and the overall title for 2011. He finished out the year by earning the AFP Superpipe points title by an enormous margin.
Tucker Hibbert, Snowmobiling
The most medaled snowmobile athlete in Winter X Games history, Tucker Hibbert easily earned his fifth straight Snowmobile SnoCross gold medal at Winter X Games 15, becoming the first Snowmobile athlete to five-peat. The youngest gold medalist in Winter X Games history, Hibbert has also dominated the National series, winning 11 of 16 National series contests last season and taking home the 2011 National series points title.
Travis Pastrana, Motocross
After sealing his reputation as the best Moto X Freestyle rider with the first double backflip in 2006, Travis Pastrana returned to the Freestyle and Speed & Style disciplines at X Games 16 to win the first Moto X double-gold since he did it in 2006. In 2011, Pastrana is also making his NASCAR debut, both as a driver and team owner under the Pastrana-Waltrip racing banner. With 12 Moto X medals and four Rally Car medals, Pastrana is one of the most successful crossover athletes in X Games history.
Kelly Slater, Surfing
Long before winning his 10th ASP World Title in 2010, Kelly Slater had earned himself the title of surfing legend. Winning his first ASP World Title at 20-years old, Slater is now both the youngest and oldest person in ASP history to win a World Title. Slater earned four ASP elite victories in 2010, bringing his total to 45 overall elite tour victories, the most of any surfer.
Shaun White, Skateboarding and Snowboarding
With the most gold medals and the most total medals in Winter X Games history, Shaun White earned the first Snowboard SuperPipe four-peat in Winter X Games history in 2011. In addition, White earned his fourth X Games medal at X Games 16 when he took home silver in Skateboard Vert. He finished out 2010 competing in two Dew Tour skate vert competitions, which he won.
The ESPY nominees for Best Female Action Sport Athlete are:
Sarah Burke, Freestyle Skiing
Leading the charge for Ski Halfpipe inclusion in the Winter Olympics, Sarah Burke is one of the most influential female skiers in history. With the most SuperPipe gold medals of any athlete male or female, Burke has won halfpipe titles at every major contest, including gold at Winter X Games 15 and Winter X Games Europe 2011.
Kelly Clark, Snowboarding
The most decorated female Snowboard SuperPipe athlete, Kelly Clark has won eight total medals in her 12 Winter X Games appearances. With an Olympic Gold in 2002 and Bronze from 2010 already under her belt, Clark had a banner season in 2010/2011 where she won nearly every contest she entered, including Winter X Games 15 and Winter X Games Europe Snowboard SuperPipe. At Winter X Games 15, Clark wrote herself into the history books as she became the first female athlete to land a 1080 in SuperPipe competition.
Ashley Fiolek, Motocross
At just 20-years old, Ashley Fiolek has blazed a trail for women’s motocross by earning the first-ever female factory Honda Red Bull Racing sponsorship. In her first three seasons, Fiolek claimed the 2008 and 2009 AMA/WMX Championships and became the youngest champion ever. Though she finished in second for the overall title in 2010, she is back on track and leading the points standings for the 2011 season. Fiolek is the two-time defending X Games Moto X Racing Women’s gold medalist and was the first profoundly deaf gold medalist at X.
Stephanie Gilmore, Surfing
One of the most talented female surfers on the ASP Tour, Stephanie Gilmore won four of the eight surfing events on the 2010 ASP World Tour en route to winning her fourth straight ASP Women’s World Title. In 2011, after surviving an attack outside her home in Australia in Decmeber, Gilmore is back from injury and sits in fourth place in the Women’s World Title rankings.
Fans will determine the winners in all categories (except the Arthur Ashe Courage Award and other special awards) by voting online at the ESPYs website, www.facebook.com/ESPN, as well as on ESPN Mobile Web from Friday through July 9. A limited number of ESPYs tickets are available for public purchase via www.ticketmaster.com.