Franconia's Walker up for an ESPY
Tyler Walker is the answer to a great trivia question:
Which alpine skier from Franconia has won a World Cup title, national championships in giant slalom and slalom and also a Winter X Games gold medal? No, it's not Bode Miller.
Walker, a member off the 2012 U.S. Paralympics Alpine national team, might have as many trophies and medals as Miller. And with help from online voters, Walker could win an ESPY on July 11 when ESPN celebrates the best athletes and moments during a live ceremony at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. The 26-year-old earned three medals during the 2011-12 World Cup season, earning an ESPY nomination for Best Male Athlete with a Disability.
He posted his first World Cup win in 2004 and won the giant slalom overall title in 2006. At the 2010 Winter Paralympics in Vancouver, Walker placed 10th in slalom. He has won multiple X Games gold medals in mono-skier X. During the 2007-08 season, Walker had four podium finishes and capped the year with national titles in giant slalom and slalom.
Walker, who grew up in Franconia, was born with an incomplete spine and had both legs amputated at the knee at age 4 because he had no control over his legs. He joined the adaptive ski programs at Waterville Valley and Loon Mountain and continued to excel with the New England Disabled Ski Team. He graduated from the University of New Hampshire with degrees in geography and international affairs and minors in German and political science.
He is among five nominees for the ESPY, including 2004 Male Athlete with a Disability winner Kyle Maynard, who climbed to the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro, becoming the first quadruple amputee to reach the summit without assistance. Fans can vote on 2012 ESPY awards at http://espn.go.com/espys/voting.
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