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  • Writer's pictureRiley Grube

Women's Sports Nominees for the 2022 ESPY Awards

Since 1993, ESPN has held the ESPY Awards (Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Awards) to recognize the best athletes, teams, and performances from the previous year. The 2022 ESPYs will be broadcast on ABC on July 20 at 8 p.m. EDT. You can cast your votes online in each of the 35 categories until July 17 at 8 p.m. EDT.


The four nominees for Best Athlete, Women's Sports are Oksana Masters, Sunisa Lee, Katie Ledecky, and Candace Parker. Masters is a five-time Paralympian who has won seventeen Paralympic medals across four different sports. At the 2020 Paralympics, she won two gold medals in para-cycling, and she won seven medals at the 2022 Paralympics in para cross-country skiing and para biathlon. Lee won the all-around gold medal in artistic gymnastics at the 2020 Olympics in addition to team silver and uneven bars bronze. Ledecky won two golds and two silver at the 2020 Olympics and recently won four golds at the 2022 World Championships to become the all-time most decorated female swimmer at the World Championships. Parker led the Chicago Sky to the 2021 WNBA title and was named the 2021 AP Female Athlete of the Year.


Masters, Lee, and Ledecky are also nominated for Best Olympian, Women's Sports along with Allyson Felix. At the 2020 Olympics, Felix won her 11th Olympic medal making her the most decorated American track and field athlete in Olympic history. Felix's accomplishment is also nominated for Best Record-Breaking Performance along with Oklahoma softball player Jocelyn Alo who broke the NCAA Division 1 record for most home runs. Alo was also nominated for Best College Athlete, Women's Sports alongside Aliyah Boston, Jaelin Howell, and Charlotte North. Oklahoma softball was nominated as Best Team for winning the 2021 and 2022 Women's College World Series along with the Chicago Sky for winning the 2021 WNBA Championships.


Jocelyn Alo was nominated for Best Record-Breaking Performance and Best College Athlete, Women's Sports, and Oklahoma softball was nominated for Best Team. Photo Credit: @78jocelyn_alo on Twitter

Two-time Olympic champion Eileen Gu received two nominations- Best Breakthrough Athlete and Best Athlete, Women's Action Sports. Trinity Rodman was also nominated for Best Breakthrough Athlete for her 2021 rookie season where she was named NWSL Rookie of the Year and to the NWSL Best XI. Rodman's Washington Spirit teammates Ashley Hatch and Aubrey Bledsoe were nominated for Best NWSL Player along with Jess Fishlock and Caprice Dydasco. Women's soccer also has a Best International Athlete category in which Alexia Putellas, Sam Kerr, Vivianne Miedema, and Caroline Graham Hansen were nominated. Additionally, Megan Rapinoe was nominated for Best Play for her corner kick goal at the 2020 Olympic bronze medal match against Australia.


Candace Parker was nominated for Best Athlete, Women's Sports and Best WNBA Player, and Chicago Sky was nominated for Best Team. Photo Credit: @BleacherReport on Twitter

Candace Parker received a second individual nomination as Best WNBA Player. Jonquel Jones, Sylvia Fowles, and Skylar Diggins-Smith were all also nominated for Best WNBA Player. Additionally, Diamond DeShields was nominated for Best Comeback Athlete. In January 2020, DeShields had a benign tumor removed from her spine that posed a serious risk of paralysis. After re-learning how to walk and run, she helped the Chicago Sky win the 2021 WNBA Championships.


All of the women's sports athletes and teams that received nominations are listed below.


Best Athlete, Women's Sports

  • Oksana Masters, Cross Country Skiing, Road Cycling, Biathlon

  • Sunisa Lee, Gymnastics

  • Katie Ledecky, Swimming

  • Candace Parker, Chicago Sky (WNBA)

Best Breakthrough Athlete

  • Trinity Rodman, Washington Spirit (NWSL)

  • Eileen Gu, Skier

Best Record-Breaking Performance

  • Jocelyn Alo (Oklahoma) breaks Lauren Chamberlain’s home run record for most in Division I history (96)

  • Allyson Felix, Track & Field won her 11th career medal surpassing Carl Lewis for the United States track and field record

Best Championship Performance

  • Julianna Peña, UFC 269

Best Comeback Athlete

  • Diamond DeShields, Phoenix Mercury (WNBA)

Best Play

Best Team

  • Chicago Sky, WNBA

  • Oklahoma Sooners, NCAA Softball

Best Olympian, Women's Sports

  • Sunisa Lee, Gymnastics

  • Oksana Masters, Cross Country Skiing, Road Cycling, Biathlon

  • Katie Ledecky, Swimming

  • Allyson Felix, Track & Field

Best Game

  • UConn defeats NC State in double OT (Elite 8 NCAA Women’s Basketball)

Best College Athlete, Women's Sports

  • Aliyah Boston, South Carolina Women’s Basketball

  • Jaelin Howell, Florida State Soccer

  • Jocelyn Alo, Oklahoma Softball

  • Charlotte North, Boston College Lacrosse

Best International Athlete, Women's Soccer

  • Alexia Putellas, Barcelona

  • Sam Kerr, Chelsea

  • Vivianne Miedema, Arsenal

  • Caroline Graham Hansen, Barcelona

Best WNBA Player

  • Jonquel Jones, Connecticut Sun

  • Sylvia Fowles, Minnesota Lynx

  • Skylar Diggins-Smith, Phoenix Mercury

  • Candace Parker, Chicago Sky

Best Boxer

  • Katie Taylor

  • Mikaela Mayer

Best MMA Fighter

  • Kayla Harrison

Best Athlete, Women's Golf

  • Nelly Korda

  • Ko Jin-young

  • Lydia Ko

  • Minjee Lee

Best Athlete, Women's Tennis

  • Emma Raducanu

  • Ashleigh Barty

  • Iga Świątek

  • Leylah Fernandez

Best Athlete, Women's Action Sports

  • Zoi Sadowski-Synnott, Snowboard

  • Eileen Gu, Ski

  • Rayssa Leal, Skateboard

  • Chloe Kim, Snowboard

Best Athlete with a Disability, Women's Sports

  • Oksana Masters, Cycling & Nordic/Biathlon

  • Jessica Long, Swimming

  • Brenna Huckaby, Snowboarding

  • Kate Ward, Soccer

Best NWSL Player

  • Ashley Hatch, Washington Spirit

  • Aubrey Bledsoe, Washington Spirit

  • Jess Fishlock, OL Reign

  • Caprice Dydasco, NJ/NY Gotham FC

Best WWE Moment

  • Bianca Belair wins RAW Women’s Championship at WrestleMania

  • Ronda Rousey returns 4 months after giving birth to win Royal Rumble

  • Becky Lynch returns at SummerSlam



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