Garcia-Tolson and Palmiero-Winters Nominated for ESPY Award

Rudy Garcia-Tolson crosses the finish line at the Ford Ironman Arizona. Photograph by Rich Cruse, courtesy of the Challenged Athletes Foundation.

Paralympian Rudy Garcia-Tolson has been nominated for a 2010 ESPY award. He is the first person with bilateral transfemoral amputations to complete an Ironman triathlon. Garcia-Tolson first attempted the distance at the October 2009 Ford Ironman World Championship in Hawaii, but barely missed the bike cut-off and was not allowed to start the marathon. One month later he competed at the Ford Ironman Arizona triathlon, where he easily made the bike cut-off on the Tempe course and crossed the finish line in 16:06:27.

Other nominees in the best male athlete with a physical disability category include Steve Cash, who posted five straight shutouts in the Vancouver Paralympics, helping his team win the second-ever Paralympic sled-hockey gold medal for Team USA; and Andy Soule, the first American-able bodied or with a disability-to win a medal in the biathlon, earning it at the 2010 Paralympics.

Photograph of Amy Palmiero-Winters courtesy of A Step Ahead Prosthetics.

Amy Palmiero-Winters has been nominated for an ESPY award in the best female athlete with a physical disability category for her recent achievements, which include being the first person with an amputation to qualify for a U.S. national track and field team, competing in the IAU Ultrarunning World Championships in Brive, France, and winning the AAU Sullivan Award.

Other female nominees include Linnea Dohring, Alana Nichols, and Stephani Victor. Dohring is a gymnast who, without the lower half of her right arm and hand, consistently scores in the 8.1-8.5 range in both vault and floor exercises during all regular season meets. She also was a three-year starter and co-captain on her high school varsity soccer team. Nichols won two gold medals-sitting downhill and sitting giant slalom-among four total medals at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games. Victor took gold in the sit-ski super combined to earn her third medal of the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games.

The ESPY Awards were created by ESPN and are presented for "Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly." Voting is now open and runs through July 10. Winners will be announced on July 14.