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'The ESPYS' celebrate 25 years of athletic accolades, inspirational honorees with star-studded evening

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Thu, Jul 13th 2017 10:40 am
`The 25th ESPYS`: Former first lady Michelle Obama honored the late Eunice Kennedy Shriver with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award for her work in founding the Special Olympics. Shriver's son, Timothy, accepted the award on the ABC special. (ABC/Image Group LA)
"The 25th ESPYS": Former first lady Michelle Obama honored the late Eunice Kennedy Shriver with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award for her work in founding the Special Olympics. Shriver's son, Timothy, accepted the award on the ABC special. (ABC/Image Group LA)
Hosted by Peyton Manning
Kevin Durant, Simone Biles, Dak Prescott & Chicago Cubs among night's big winners
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" celebrated athletic accomplishments from the past year, the show also highlighted special 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 were 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, 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 ALSO included: Chris Berman (ESPN), Dove Cameron ("Descendants 2"), Eddie George (Heisman Trophy winner), Samuel L. Jackson ("The Hitman's Bodyguard"), Nneka Ogwumike (Los Angeles Sparks), Danica Patrick, Issa Rae ("Insecure"), Elizabeth Olsen and Jeremy Renner ("Wind River").
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, Snoop Dogg, Julian Edelman (New England Patriots), Prince Fielder (Texas Rangers), Dennis Haysbert, Derek Hough ("Dancing with the Stars"), Kerri Walsh Jennings, Gus Kenworthy, Josh Norman (Washington Redskins), Aly Raisman, Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers), Maria Shriver (daughter of Eunice Kennedy Shriver), P.K. Subban (Nashville Predators), Abby Wambach, Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder), and Shaun White, 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
SPECIAL AWARDS
  • 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
"The 25th ESPYS": The Jimmy V Award was presented to New Orleans Saints superfan Jarrius "JJ" Robertson on the ABC broadcast. Pictured, from left, are Patricia Hoyle, Jordy Robertson and Jarrius. (ABC/Image Group LA)

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