LOS ANGELES — UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi continued to reap the rewards of her perfect-10 floor exercise routine at the ESPYs Award Show on Wednesday night at the Microsoft Theater.
Ohashi, 22, electrified the crowd – and the judges – at the 2019 Collegiate Challenge with her routine, which amassed nearly 100 million views on YouTube. Ohashi’s routine was voted as the Best Play and Best Viral Sports Moment.
She used the national platform to address cyberattacks on social media and the objectification of women in sports by giving her acceptance remarks in rhyme.
“Overnight fame from one in a million. Over 100 million views. I started seeing myself in the news,” Ohashi said. “Trying to infuse a little bit of joy into the world in my sport. After all the abuse and misuse of people in higher power. It’s no wonder why our voices went silent as theirs would just tower. But today, mine no longer cowers. Thankful for the internet that made this all happen but along with that it is important to understand cyberattacks … the respect that people unfortunately lack.”
— ESPN (@espn) July 11, 2019
Alex Morgan and the U.S. women’s national soccer team walked away with two awards just days removed from beating the Netherlands 2-0 to win the World Cup in France.
Morgan, a native of Diamond Bar, was voted the Best Female Athlete and the U.S. women were voted as the Best Team.
“Sorry, but this is probably the second-best trophy we won this week,” Morgan said jokingly, hoisting her individual trophy.
“Sorry, but this is probably the second-best trophy we won this week.”
— ESPN (@espn) July 11, 2019
The women’s team arrived at the award show just hours removed from a ticker-tape parade in New York City in honor of their World Cup success. Carli Lloyd informed the crowd the players had their hair and makeup done during the cross-country flight.
“We look pretty fabulous, I think,” she said.
Quarterbacks Jared Goff of the Los Angeles Rams and Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs accepted the ESPY for Best Game on behalf of their teams for the wildly entertaining Week 11 Monday Night Football game won by the Rams, 54-51.
The duo also thanked the first responders, that fought the series of California wildfires last year, in attendance at the show. The acknowledgment was met with a standing ovation from the crowd.
NBA legend Bill Russell received the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage. The 85-year-old Hall of Famer was saluted for his dedication to fighting for social justice and ensuring opportunity for all young people. Introduced by former Lakers star Kobe Bryant, Russell acknowledged a standing ovation from an upper-level box but didn’t speak.
Professional NBA 2K League player Timothy “oLARRY” Anselimo of the Cleveland Cavaliers Legion Gaming Club won the inaugural ESPY for best esports moment.
Anselimo was shot last year at an NFL Madden tournament in Jacksonville that killed two other gamers. Two bullets ripped into his hand and led to reconstructive surgery on his thumb.
“I had to change the way I play,” Anselimo said. “I can’t use my thumb anymore. I don’t have feeling or motion.”
Despite the use of a modified grip on his controller, Anselimo has managed to continue playing in the league’s second season and is in consideration for defensive player of the year.
“I feel like I am a little bit better than I was last year,” he said. “The road to recovery is a long process but I am here.”
Comedian Tracy Morgan presided over the show at Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles.
Wednesday’s awards show was the 27th edition of The ESPYs. The V Foundation for Cancer Research has been synonymous with the show since the late Jim Valvano announced its beginning during a memorable speech at the 1993 ceremony.
It was announced Wednesday that the V Foundation has raised more than $100 million for cancer research since its inception.
Here are the 2019 ESPY Award winners:
Best Male Athlete: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
Best Female Athlete: Alex Morgan, USWNT
Best Breakthrough Athlete: Saquon Barkley, New York Giants
Best Team: U.S. Women’s National Team, soccer
Best Game: Rams defeat Chiefs on Monday Night Football
Best Play: Katelyn Ohashi
Best Viral Sports Moment: Katelyn Ohashi
Best Comeback: St. Louis Blues winning the Stanley Cup
Best College Athlete: Zion Williamson, Duke men’s basketball
Best Record-breaking Performance: Saints’ Drew Brees becomes all-time passing leader
Best Esports Moment (Finals): Timothy “oLARRY” Anselimo returns to 2K League after surviving Jacksonville shooting
Best Upset: Andy Ruiz Jr. defeats Anthony Joshua
Best WWE Moment: Roman Reigns returns to WWE Raw and announces his Leukemia is in remission
Best NFL Player: Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
Best MLB Player: Christian Yelich, Milwaukee Brewers
Best NHL Player: Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
Best NBA Player: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
Best WNBA Player: Breanna Stewart, Seattle Storm
Best International Men’s Soccer Player: Lionel Messi, Argentina
Best International Women’s Soccer Player: Sam Kerr, Australia
Best Male Tennis Player: Roger Federer
Best Female Tennis Player: Serena Williams
Best Male Golfer: Brooks Koepka
Best Female Golfer: Brooke Henderson
Best Boxer: Canelo Álvarez
Best Bowler: Norm Duke
Best Jockey: Mike Smith
Best Driver: Kyle Busch, NASCAR
Best MMA Fighter: Daniel Cormier
Best Male Action Sports Athlete: Nyjah Houston, United States, skateboard
Best Female Action Sports Athlete: Chloe Kim, United States, snowboard
Best Female Athlete with a Disability: Allysa Seely
Best Male Athlete with a Disability: Mark Barr
Best MLS Player: Zlatan Ibrahimovic, L.A. Galaxy
Best NWSL Player: Sam Kerr
News services contributed to this report.