Katie Ledecky Wins Best Women’s Athlete at the ESPYS

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By BETH HARRIS, AP Sports Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Olympic swimming champion Katie Ledecky won best athlete in women’s sports at The ESPYS on Wednesday night.

NBA Finals MVP Stephen Curry hosted the show honoring the year’s top athletes and moments. He picked up a trophy, too, for best record-breaking performance, having set the mark for most 3-pointers made in league history.

“The reason I wanted to host is I thought I’d be able to present myself with the award,” Curry joked.

“I represent one of the few sports that is also a really important life skill, so I want to encourage all the parents here, anyone watching, to make sure your kids learn how to swim,” Ledecky said. “Our planet is 70% water, so it’s very important.”

Former heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko was honored with the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage, having impacted the world beyond sports. Klitschko, mayor of embattled Kyiv, Ukraine, since 2014, wasn’t present. He appeared in a pre-taped video.

Billie Jean King led off a tribute to the 50th anniversary of Title IX, the federal legislation that prohibits sex-based discrimination in schools that receive government funding.

The ESPYS were criticized by South Carolina women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley for not inviting consensus player of the year Aliyah Boston to the show. Boston had hoped to attend and was disappointed not to be asked. She was issued a last-minute invitation but declined it.

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