The stars of the sports world aligned last night for the 26th annual ESPY awards.
The awards show (televised on ABC in its first ever departure from ESPN) was hosted by Danica Patrick and brought some of the biggest names in sports to the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
In case you missed it, here are a few of the show’s highlights that are still being discussed the next day on social media and beyond.
Chloe Kim Rocks
If you weren’t heckin’ impressed by Chloe Kim’s snowboarding performance at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, you weren’t paying attention.
ESPY voters clearly did pay attention, because Chloe came away from the night with more awards than any of her fellow nominees. America’s Olympic sweetheart won three ESPYs, including Best Female Athlete, Best Female Olympian, and Best Female Action Sports Athlete.
Just when we thought Chloe couldn’t get any cooler, she slays at the ESPYs. It’s official: Chloe Kim can do no wrong.
The Powerful Women of U.S. Gymnastics
The Arthur Ashe Courage Award was received by the “Sister Survivors,” the name given to the women who were abused by USA gymnastics and Michigan State doctor Larry Nassar. The group includes Olympians Gabby Douglas, Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, and, most vocally, Aly Raisman, who joined fellow victims Sarah Klein and Tiffany Thomas Lopez in speaking onstage at the ceremony.
140 of the Sister Survivors gathered onstage at the ESPYs to accept the award, in a stunning visual representation of the sheer number of victims affected by Nassar’s abuse (at last reporting, 265 women had come forward).
“Make no mistake,” said Klein. “We are here on this stage to present an image for the world to see: a portrait of survival, a new vision of courage.”
A Good Night for Hockey
Hockey players on both the men and women’s side of the game were honored last night.
Alexander Ovechkin’s epic year is far from over. The future Hall of Famer’s Stanley Cup-winning performance for the Capitals netted him a couple of major ESPY’s before the night was through–Best Male Athlete and Best NHL Player.
Ovi didn’t get all the fun. The U.S. Women’s Ice Hockey Team scored the award for Best Game, with their 3-2 shootout victory for the gold medal win over Canada.
The team also received nominations for Best Olympic Moment, Best Play, and Best Female Olympian (Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson).
Jim Kelly’s Courage
NFL legend Jim Kelly won the prestigious Jimmy V. Perseverance Award for his unfailing courage throughout his lengthy and ongoing battle with cancer.
The Buffalo Bills great gave an emotional speech in which he reflected on his life, his family, and his faith. Kelly was first diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma in 2013 and has since endured multiple treatments and complicated surgeries.
“I will never give up,” said Kelly in a pre-taped video aired before his speech. “I will keep fighting till the end.”
Media credits: E!, USA Hockey, Sports Illustrated, Us Magazine