LOS ANGELES ( Associated Press) — Olympic swimming champion Katie Ledecky won the Best Athlete in Women’s Games award Wednesday night at The ESPYS.
NBA Finals MVP Stephen Curry hosted the show honoring the year’s top athletes and moments. He also won a trophy for best record-breaking performance, which set the mark for most 3-pointers scored in league history.
“The reason I wanted to host, I thought I would be able to present myself with the award,” Curry joked.
Ledecky earned two golds and two silvers at the Tokyo Games last year, earning him 10 career Olympic medals. She received her trophy from Mabel Blair, 95, who played in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.
“I represent one of the few sports that is also a really important life skill, so I want to encourage all parents here, anyone watching, to make sure your kids swim. Learn,” Ledecky said. “Our planet is 70% water, so that’s very important.”
Former heavyweight champion Vitaly Klitschko was awarded the Arthur Ashe Award for courage that impacted the world beyond the sport. Klitschko, the mayor of Kyiv, Ukraine, has not been present since 2014. He appeared in a pre-taped video.
Billie Jean King paid tribute to the 50th anniversary of Title IX, the federal law that prohibits gender-based discrimination in schools that receive government funding.
She was joined by Lisa Leslie, Brandi Chastain, Chloe Kim, Alison Felix, Aly Raisman, and Megan Rapinoe, among others. He spoke out against a backdrop of black and white photographs of female athletes advocating for gender equality on the field or on the streets. His comments were attributed to country singer Mickey Guyton’s song “What Are You Gonna Tell Her?” was combined with the performance of. and “Remember his name.”
ESPYS was criticized by South Carolina women’s basketball coach Don Staley for not inviting Consensus Player of the Year Aaliyah Boston to the show. Boston expected to participate and was disappointed not to be asked. He was given an invitation at the last minute, but he declined it.
ESPN said COVID-19 concerns and a smaller venue forced organizers to prioritize people invited to the show. Boston was nominated in a non-television category that had been handed over the night before. She lost to Oklahoma softball star Jocelyn Allo, who took part in a Title IX tribute.
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