Paralympian Zach Miller of the U.S. Para Snowboard Team has won an ESPY for “Best Athlete with a Disability” at the 2023 ESPY Awards in Los Angeles, California.
The ESPY Awards, known as the Oscars of sports, celebrate the outstanding achievements of athletes from around the world each year. Miller was nominated alongside sled hockey player Erica McKee, wheelchair racing and cross country athlete Aaron Pile and wheelchair racer Susannah Scaroni.
Miller’s stellar performance in the 2022-23 season played a pivotal role toward winning the ESPY, having brought home three medals in three different disciplines at the 2023 World Championships in Georgia: gold in banked slalom, silver in dual banked slalom and bronze in snowboardcross. He now has five World Championship medals in total and is at the top of his game going into the 2023-24 season.
Miller, a snowboarder in the SB-LL2 classification who specializes in dual banked slalom, has been an elite Para rider for years. First named to the U.S. Para Snowboard Team in 2019-20, Miller may be one of the youngest members of the national team but has already made a name by podiuming on the World Cup, at the World Championships and attending the 2022 Paralympics.
“We are so excited for Zach for taking home an ESPY Award tonight,” said Sophie Goldschmidt, President and CEO of U.S. Ski & Snowboard. “Just recently, we re-introduced Para under our wing at U.S. Ski & Snowboard and it’s athletes like Zach that make me so excited for the future. What an incredible win tonight for him and the team—I can’t wait to see what’s next!”
“It’s an honour to receive such a prestigious award, and to be among some of the greatest athletes the world has ever seen! I want to thank everyone that rallied and voted for me; I’m very fortunate to have so much support. Without it, I would never have been able to live my dream and pursue snowboarding” Miller said after accepting his award. “I’ve been snowboarding for over 15 years now, and it’s been so awesome to see my dedication and perseverance finally paying off. These past few years have been very good to me and I’m excited for what the future holds!”
Just a few weeks ago, Miller could not even put being nominated for an ESPY into words—now he is walking away as a winner. His remarkable journey to the stage at the Dolby Theatre is one of perseverance, determination and strength and serves as an inspiration to any athlete who is chasing their dreams.
Fellow U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team athlete and Stifel U.S. Alpine Ski Team athlete Mikaela Shiffrin also walked away with the Best Athlete – Women’s Sports ESPY Award.