Katie Ledecky is in the running for Female Olympic Athlete of the Year ©Getty Images

The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has announced the 26 finalists for the United States Olympic Committee Best of the Year Team USA awards.

Athletes and teams considered for Best of the Year prizes were finalists for Best of the Month honours.

A USOC nominating committee then selected the top five finalists in the individual categories and top three in the team categories to advance to the voting round.

Online fan voting accounts for 50 per cent of the final tally, while "members of the Olympic and Paralympic family" account for the other 50 per cent.

The six award winners will be announced during the 2017 Team USA Awards ceremony, due to be held on November 29 at Royce Hall in Los Angeles.

Female Olympic Athlete of the Year nominees include speed skater Heather Bergsma, who won 12 International Skating Union World Cup medals, including nine golds, to claim her third Grand World Cup crown before going on to add four World Championship medals.

Snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis is also a nominee after she extended her reign as the most decorated snowboarder in any single event by winning an unprecedented fifth straight snowboard cross world title in as many starts, while also tallying five World Cup podium finishes to improve her career total to 28 wins and 48 podium appearances from 80 starts.

Katie Ledecky won six medals, including five golds, at the 2017 International Swimming Federation (FINA) World Aquatics Championships and has also been nominated, while wrestler Helen Maroulis claimed her third straight world or Olympic title by claiming the women’s 58 kilograms gold medal at the 2017 World Wrestling Championships in Paris.

The final nominee is Alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin after she made history by becoming the first female skier in 78 years to win three straight world slalom titles and the first American woman to win three World Championship gold medals.

Lowell Bailey is a nominee for the men's prize ©Getty Images
Lowell Bailey is a nominee for the men's prize ©Getty Images

The shortlist for the men's equivalent includes athletics' Sam Kendricks after he became the first American male pole vaulter in 10 years to win an International Association of Athletics Federations World Championship gold medal by upsetting seven-time reigning Diamond League trophy winner and world record holder Renaud Lavillenie of France in London.

Biathlon's Lowell Bailey has also been nominated after he was the first American to win a World Championship title in the sport by claiming the men's 20 kilometres gold medal, while also earning eight top 10 World Cup finishes.

Caeleb Dressel won seven gold medals to lead all competitors at the 2017 FINA World Championships, matching Michael Phelps’ record from 2007 and making history as the first-ever swimmer to win three world titles on a single day and the first American male since 2011 to win three individual events at the same championships.

Wrestler Kyle Snyder is the fourth nominee after he defeated Olympic and two-time world champion Abdulrashid Sadulaev of Russia, 6-5, to win the 97kg gold medal and help the US team claim its first men’s freestyle wrestling world team title in 22 years at the 2017 World Wrestling Championships.

Freestyle skier McRae Williams is the final nominee.

Competing at his first International Ski Federation Freestyle Ski World Championships, he earned gold with 93.80 points to cap a season that saw him also claim his first X Games medal in three years and the FIS slopestyle crystal globe with two World Cup podium finishes.

As well as the men's and women's awards, there will also be prizes awarded for the Olympic Team of the Year, the Female Paralympic Athlete of the Year, the Male Paralympic Athlete of the Year and Paralympic Team of the Year.

The public can vote for their favourite athletes and teams at here until October 30.