Among the dozens of honors bestowed at the 2014 ESPY Awards on Wednesday, only two 2014 Sochi Olympics were recognized.
With votes casted by sportswriters, broadcasters, sports executives, and fans, snowboarders Jamie Anderson and Sage Kotsenburg received the vase-like trophy at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles, CA.
The 23-year-old Anderson won two awards, matching star NBA athlete Kevin Durant’s tally. The Sochi Olympics gold medalist, who swept the field in the inaugural snowboard slopestyle event, won both the Best Female U.S. Olympic Athlete and the Female Action Sports Athlete accolades.
In the Olympics category, this four-time X Games winner received the nod over such gold medaling teammates as Maddie Bowman, Kaitlyn Farrington, Mikaela Shiffrin, and Meryl Davis. Whereas, for Action Sports, she bested Kelly Clark, Bowman, and two other extreme sports competitors. Soon after the ceremony, she tweeted, “So thankful for the unbelievable year."
The slopestylist Kotsenburg, who reeled in Team USA’s first gold medal, earned top honors in the Best Male U.S. Olympic Athlete category. Fellow gold medaling Olympians Ted Ligety, Charlie White, David Wise, and Joss Christensen were runners-up to this 20-year-old Idaho native.
"It's just been that kind of year, and I'm letting it take me where it takes me," said Kotsenburg.
Among the above nominees, two were selected for other categories. Shiffrin, the Sochi s alpine skiing slalom winner was honored with a nomination as the Best Female Athlete. Whereas the ski halfpipe Sochi victor Wise also made the Best Male Action Sports Athlete list.
Surprisingly, Winter Olympians were not nominated for two categories. The U.S. Men’s Hockey Team missed the cut in the Best Game category with its overtime win over the Russians, compliments of TJ Oshie’s stellar shoot-out performance. Also, Team USA’s 1-2-3 finish in the ski slopestyle event won by Christensen was not chosen either – despite this being just the third time in U.S. Olympics history that American athletes swept the podium.