LOS ANGELES — More than 140 survivors of sexual abuse at the hands of a former team doctor for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University joined hands on stage to be honored with the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage at the ESPYs.
The women who spoke out against the abuse by Larry Nassar stood together Wednesday night in a powerful and solemn closing to the show that honors the past year's top athletes and moments in sports.
Gymnast Aly Raisman, softball player Tiffany Thomas Lopez and gymnast Sarah Klein, who said she was Nasser's first victim 30 years ago, took turns speaking. Klein chided the U.S. Olympic Committee, USA Gymnastics and Michigan State for placing "money and medals above the safety of child athletes."
Olympic snowboarding champion Chloe Kim won a leading three ESPYs, including best female athlete, while Alex Ovechkin claimed best male athlete.
Omaha native Terence Crawford was named best fighter, beating out another boxer and two UFC fighters.
Ovechkin joined Roger Federer and Olympic snowboarder Shaun White as double winners. Ovechkin was in Russia with his wife, Nastya, who is 8½ months pregnant.
Newly retired racecar driver Danica Patrick became the first woman to host the show at the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles. Her opening monologue mostly fell flat, with athletes sitting stone-faced or wincing at many of the jokes.
Kim took female athlete honors over Olympic skier Mikaela Shiffrin, WNBA player Sylvia Fowles and soccer player Julie Ertz.
Kim also claimed trophies for best female Olympian and female action sports athlete. At the Pyeongchang Games in February, she became the youngest to win a snowboarding medal when the then-17-year-old claimed gold in halfpipe.