Two Trojan alumni have been nominated for ESPY Awards after standout performances at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Allyson Felix became the most decorated American woman in Olympic track and field history last summer, which earned her a nomination for Best Female U.S. Olympic Athlete. Swimmer Katinka Hosszu, who represented Hungary in Rio de Janeiro, is nominated for Best International Athlete.
Felix grabbed three medals in 2016 to raise her career total to nine, which tied Jamaican sprinter Merlene Ottey for most-ever in Olympic women’s track and field. She won two gold medals — in the 4x100m and 4x400m relays — and one silver in the 400m. The two gold medals gave her six total: the most in Trojan history. Rio was Felix’s fourth Games after competing in Athens, Beijing and London.
Felix actually never ran for USC. Despite committing to the Trojans in high school, she opted to sign a professional contract with Adidas to prepare for the 2004 Olympics. She still attended the University, however, and graduated in 2008 with a degree in elementary education.
On the other hand, Hosszu enjoyed a dominant Trojan career. She graduated in 2012 as a five-time NCAA champion, and she took home three of those titles in her junior season — becoming only the second swimmer to pull off the feat in program history. Hosszu also won the 2011 Honda Award, which is given to the nation’s top female collegiate swimmer.
Though she didn’t earn a medal at the previous three Games, Hosszu’s Olympic career is now similarly decorated after she won four medals — three gold, one silver — last summer. Hosszu smashed the world record in the 400m IM in the first day of swimming in Rio, and she set an Olympic record in the 200m IM three days later.
She also made a comeback in the final length of the 100m backstroke to win gold and notched a silver medal in the 200m backstroke, only missing out on another first-place finish by .06 seconds. No other swimmer at the Rio Olympics won more individual events.
Neither Hosszu nor Felix is a stranger to the ESPY Awards. Felix has been nominated for Best Track and Field Athlete three times, and she won the Best Female Track Athlete award in 2006. Hosszu, meanwhile, was nominated for Best Female College Athlete in 2011.
Voting for the ESPY Awards is currently open online, and the ceremony will take place on July 12 at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles.