Welcome to one of the biggest nights in sports – the ESPY Awards! The best athletes in the world – from Kevin Durant to Simone Biles – will be honored on July 12 at 8:00 PM ET, so sports fans better not miss it!
It’s one of the rare nights when stars from all sports – football, soccer, baseball, hockey, MMA, you name it – come together in celebration of athleticism and physical accomplishment. The 2017 ESPY Awards honors athletes from four corners of the globe in a star-studded showcase. This year, two-time NFL champion Peyton Manning, 41, will host the event that sees Sidney Crosby, 29, go up against Michael Phelps, 32, Kris Bryant 25, and Russell Westbrook, 28, for Best Male Athlete, while Simone Biles, 20, Katie Ledecky, 20, Serena Williams, 35, and Candace Parker, 31, battle for Best Female Athlete.
That is the tip of the iceberg. Cristiano Ronaldo, 32, Tom Brady, 39, Conor McGregor, 28, and the U.S. Women’s gymnastic team are some of the many athletes vying for a coveted ESPY award. The night will also honor three special contributors to the world of sports. Jon Stewart, 54, will present U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Israel Del Toro with the Pat Tillman Award for Service. Israel was serving in Afghanistan in 2005 when his Humvee rolled over a landmine, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Though told he would never walk or breathe normally again, he went on to set several world records in events like shot put, discuss and javelin.
“When I heard that Pat Tillman gave up a career in the NFL to serve his country after the 9/11 attacks, it gave me so much pride to call him a brother in arms,” the U.S. serviceman said. “He truly is a shining example of Service Before Self.” Sadly, Pat Tillman’s service came to an end in 2004, when the former Arizona Cardinals star was killed during a friendly fire incident in Afghanistan. Still, his dedication continues to inspire, and his spirit lives on in men and women like Israel.
In addition to Master Sgt. Del Toro, New Orleans Saints superfan Jarrius “JJ” Robertson, 15, will receive the Jimmy V Perseverance Award, while Los Angeles Dodgers’ legendary sportscaster Vin Schully, 89, will get the Icon Award. Former First Lady Michelle Obama, 53, will present the Arthur Ashe Courage Award to Eunice Kennedy Shriver. Eunice’s son (and brother to Maria Shriver, 61) Timothy Shriver, 57, will accept the award on his mother’s behalf. It should be an amazing night.
Are you excited for the 2017 ESPY Awards, HollywoodLifers? Who do you want to take home a trophy tonight?