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  • Writer's pictureSadahri Lindsey

The Most Prestigious Awards In Sports: 2023 ESPYS Roundup

On Wednesday, July 12th, the ESPY Awards Show took place. It was a very big night for many female athletes, from A'ja Wilson to the US Women's National Soccer Team. Here is a quick rundown of winners in women's sports.

Best WNBA Player- A'ja Wilson, Las Vegas Aces

A'ja Wilson has created a name for herself in the WNBA. A number one overall pick in the 2018 draft, she entered the league dominating. This past season, she was one of the captains for the All-Star Game, won the MVP award for the second time, became the Defensive Player of the Year (DPOY), and won her first WNBA championship with the Las Vegas Aces. She won the award over finalists Skylar Diggins-Smith, Candace Parker, and Breanna Stewart.

Best Athlete (Women's Sports)- Mikaela Shiffrin

Mikaela Shiffrin holds her globe from her World Cup title 2023 | Photo courtesy of @usskiteam Twitter

Mikaela Shiffrin has changed the culture of women's skiing. With her complete dominance in the sport, she only makes athletes want to be better. Shiffrin has the most World Cup wins of all alpine skiers, with 87 wins. She has two Olympic gold medals and is a five-time overall World Cup champion. Shiffrin won the award over Sophia Smith, Iga Swiatek, and A'ja Wilson.

Best Boxer- Claressa Shields

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields made history by winning the Best Boxer ESPY. Shields is the very first woman to win in this category. She won the award over finalists Gervonta "Tank" Davis, Devin Haney, and Shakur Stevenson.

Best Breakthrough Athlete- Angel Reese, LSU Women's Basketball

Angel Reese in her crowning moment after LSU won the National Championship | Photo Credit to @lsuwbkb Twitter

Angel Reese has put the focus on women's college basketball in just the last couple of months. She led the LSU women's basketball team to a Final Four appearance which led to them winning the National Championship game over the Iowa Hawkeyes. She also won the March Madness tournament's Most Outstanding Player award and set an NCAA single-season record with 34 double-doubles. Reese won the award over Caitlin Clark, Brock Purdy, and Julio Rodriguez.

Best College Athlete (Women's Sports)- Caitlin Clark, Iowa

Caitlin Clark also helped to put a spotlight on women's college basketball. Clark led Iowa to a National Championship appearance in this year's March Madness tournament. She broke several records in her junior season and created records of her own by becoming the first player in men's or women's tournament history to record a 30 or 40-point triple-double. Clark also became the first Division I player to record at least 900 points and 300 assists in a single season. She averaged 28 points, seven rebounds, and 9 assists for the Hawkeyes in her junior season. Caitlin Clark won the award over Jordy Bahl, Izzy Scane, and Trinity Thomas.

Arthur Ashe Award for Courage- US Women's National Soccer Team

USWNT celebrating their She Believes Cup 2023 win | Photo by Elyanna Garcia for WSX

The US Women's National Soccer Team has paved the way in the gender equality battle. In 2016, five members of the national team, Hope Solo, Carli Lloyd, Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, and Becky Sauerbrunn, filed a wage-discrimination lawsuit against the United States Soccer Federation. In 2019, 28 members of the USWNT filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against the USSF. The USWNT wanted their salaries and prize money to match their male counterparts. In 2022, the lawsuit was settled for $24 million. $22 million would go to the athletes named in the lawsuit, and the rest would go to players' post-playing careers and charitable efforts for women's soccer. The USWNT also agreed to a new CBA in 2022 that would make their salaries and prize money the same as the Men's National Team.


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