Nikko Landeros (Berthound, Colo.) of the 2016 U.S. National Sled Hockey Team is one of five nominees for the 2016 ESPY Award for Best Male Athlete with a Disability, ESPN announced today. The winner will be determined by fan voting and presented at The ESPYs on July 13 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Fan voting is open now at http://espn.go.com/espys/2016/ and ends July 13 at 8 p.m. ET.
The ESPY (Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly) is an annual award show that honors sports and athletic achievement, both on an individual and team basis.
In his seventh year with the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team, Landeros helped the U.S. claim its fifth straight major international tournament title with a 4-1 victory over Canada at the 2016 IPC Pan-Pacific Championship held in Buffalo, New York, from March 29-April 2. Previous tournament victories include the 2016 World Sled Hockey Challenge in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia; the 2015 IPC Sled Hockey World Championship in Buffalo, New York; the 2015 World Sled Hockey Challenge in Leduc, Alberta; and the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
At the club level, Landeros led the Colorado Avalanche Sled Hockey Team to its second-consecutive national championship at the 2016 Toyota/USA Hockey Adult Sled Hockey National Championship in Detroit in April. Landeros and the Avalanche also claimed the 2015 USA Hockey Sled Classic, presented by the NHL, last November.
Off the ice, Landeros made his debut at the Winter X Games where he earned a silver medal in the Mono Skier X discipline.
Landeros becomes the fourth U.S. sled hockey player to be nominated for the Best Male Athlete with a Disability ESPY. Goaltender Steve Cash (Overland, Mo.) won the award in 2010, forward Declan Farmer (Tampa, Fla.) received the honor in 2014 and fellow defenseman Josh Pauls (Green Brook, N.J.) was nominated for the award last year. Additionally, Josh Sweeney (Phoenix, Ariz.), captain of the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team for the past two seasons (2014-16), was honored during the 2014 ESPYS when he received the inaugural Pat Tillman Award for Service for his dedication to his country and helping others.