Four Swimmers in Hunt for 2005 ESPY Awards: Vote for Michael, Natalie, Rudy and Erin

By Phillip Whitten

NEW YORK, N.Y., July 6. FOUR swimmers – including the incomparable Michael Phelps and Natalie Coughlin and disability swimmers Rudy Garcia Tolson and Erin Popovich – are on ESPN's online ballot for the 2005 ESPY Awards.

Balloting ends soon for the awards, which will be broadcast on July 17, so log onto


Coughlin is a finalist for "Best Female Athlete." Other nominees are Seimone Augustus (basketball), Maria Sharapova (tennis) and Annika Sorenstam (golf). She is also on the ballot for "Best Female Olympic Performance" along with gymnast Carly Patterson and the US women's softball team.

Phelps is a finalist for "Best Male Athlete." Other nominees are Lance Armstrong (cycling), Peyton Manning (football) Bode Miller (skiing) and Vijay Singh (golf). He is also on the ballot for "Best Male Olympic Performance" along with wrestler Cael Sanderson and runner Jeremy Wariner.

Popovich, who won seven gold medals at the 2004 Paralympic Games, is on the ballot for "Best Female Athlete with a Disability"; Garcia-Tolson is a finalist for "Best Male Athlete with a Disability."