AWARDS SHOWS IN HIGH HEELS: ESPYS WINNERS ANNOUNCED
On Wednesday evening, the biggest stars from sports and entertainment converged at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles to celebrate the year’s best moments in sports at “The 25th ESPYS Presented by Capital One.” The show was hosted by five-time NFL MVP and two-time Super Bowl champion Peyton Manning and aired live on ABC.
The evening’s first award went to NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Dak Prescott, who was named Best Breakthrough Athlete. He topped stiff competition from the Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Yankees’ Aaron Judge, U.S. Women’s Gymnastics’ Laurie Hernandez, and U.S. Soccer star Christian Pulisic. Russell Westbrook collected the ESPY for Best Male Athlete, extending the NBA’s streak of six-straight wins in that category. Simone Biles took home two awards, winning Best Female U.S. Olympic Athlete and Best Female Athlete, after losing the same category to Breanna Stewart last year. Kevin Durant took home his fourth ESPY, winning this year’s Best Championship Performance for his work leading the Golden State Warriors to an NBA title. Durant’s ever-supportive mother Wanda, aka “Mama Durant,” was by her son’s side as he accepted the honor. Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, took home his third and fourth ESPY for Best Record-Breaking Performance and Best U.S. Male Olympic Athlete.
While “The ESPYS” celebrates athletic accomplishments throughout the year, the show also highlights amazing individuals in the world of sports who have demonstrated admirable perseverance, courage and strength in the face of adversity. The evening’s three marquis awards are the Jimmy V Perseverance Award, the Arthur Ashe Courage Award and the Pat Tillman Award for Service. Former First Lady Michelle Obama brought the Microsoft Theater to their feet as she walked onstage to honor Eunice Kennedy Shriver with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award for her work in founding the Special Olympics. Shriver’s son Timothy, who serves as chairman of Special Olympics, graciously accepted the honor on her behalf. The Jimmy V Award was presented to New Orleans Saints superfan Jarrius “JJ” Robertson, who has battled a rare and chronic liver disease throughout his entire life. Last year’s ESPYS host and WWE superstar John Cena introduced the young man, and praised his unwavering positivity in the face of adversity. And former host of “The Daily Show,” Jon Stewart, presented Air Force Master Sgt. Israel Del Toro with the Pat Tillman Award for Service.
This year’s Icon Award was presented by Bryan Cranston to legendary sports announcer Vin Scully, who retired from his post with the Los Angeles Dodgers last year after a record-breaking 67-years with the organization.
In celebration of the impressive quarter century milestone, “The ESPYS” paid homage to its legacy and highlighted various memorable sports moments with a retrospective video montage. Grammy-nominated R&B singer Gallant performed during the in-memoriam segment.
This year’s presenters included: Chris Berman (ESPN), Dove Cameron (“Descendants 2”), John Cena (WWE), Bryan Cranston (Actor), Eddie George (Heisman Trophy Winner), Samuel L. Jackson (“The Hitman’s Bodyguard”), Former First Lady Michelle Obama, Nneka Ogwumike (Los Angeles Sparks), Elizabeth Olsen (“Wind River”), Danica Patrick (Stock Car Racing Driver), Issa Rae (“Insecure”), Jeremy Renner (“Wind River”), and Jon Stewart (Former Host of “The Daily Show”), among others.
In addition, top athletes and celebrities who attended the show included: Danny Amendola (New England Patriots), LeVeon Bell (Pittsburgh Steelers), Nikki Bella (WWE), Cheryl Burke (“Dancing with the Stars”), Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors), Oscar De La Hoya (Former Boxer), Snoop Dogg (Rapper), Julian Edelman (New England Patriots), Prince Fielder (Texas Rangers), Dennis Haysbert (Actor), Derek Hough (“Dancing with the Stars”), Kerri Walsh Jennings (Women’s Beach Volleyball), Gus Kenworthy (Olympic Freestyle Skier), Josh Norman (Washington Redskins), Aly Raisman (Olympic Gymnast), Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers), Maria Shriver (Daughter of Eunice Kennedy Shriver), P.K. Subban (Nashville Predators), Abby Wambach (Soccer Olympian), Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder), and Shaun White (Snowboarding Olympian), among others.
COMPLETE LIST OF “THE 25th ESPYS” WINNERS
Best Breakthrough Athlete: Dak Prescott
Best Game: Patriots, Falcons Super Bowl
Best Coach: Bob Hurley, Sr.
Best Championship Performance: Kevin Durant
Best Record-Breaking Performance: Michael Phelps
Best Play: Aaron Rodgers/Jared Cook
Best Female Athlete: Simone Biles
Best Male Athlete: Russell Westbrook
Best Team: Golden State Warriors
Best Upset: Mississippi State defeats U Conn
Best NFL Player: Aaron Rodgers
Best WNBA Player: Candace Parker
Best Male College Athlete: DeShaun Watson
Best Female College Athlete: Kelly Barnhill
Best Female Action Sports Athlete: Anna Gasser
Best Male US Olympic Athlete: Michael Phelps
Best Female US Olympic Athlete: Simone Biles
Best Male Athlete with a Disability: Steve Serio
Best Female Athlete with a Disability: Becca Meyers
Best Comeback Athlete: Jordy Nelson
Best International Athlete: Usain Bolt
Best NBA Player: LeBron James
Best MLB Player: Mike Trout
Best NHL Player: Sidney Crosby
Best Driver: Lewis Hamilton
Best Male Action Sports Athlete: Mark McMorris
Best Fighter: Demetrious Johnson
Best Male Golfer: Sergio Garcia
Best Female Golfer: Ariya Jutanugarn
Best Male Tennis Player: Roger Federer
Best Female Tennis Player: Serena Williams
Best MLS Player: David Villa
Best Jockey: John Velazquez
Best Bowler: Jason Belmonte
Jimmy V Award for Perseverance: Jarrius Robertson
Arthur Ashe Award for Courage: Eunice Kennedy Shriver
Pat Tillman Award for Service: Israel Del Toro
Best Moment: Chicago Cubs
Best Comeback Athlete: Jordy Nelson
Icon Award: Vin Scully