19 Things You Didn’t Know About These All-Star Female ESPY Nominees

Serena Williams, Simone Biles and Alex Morgan are some of the women nominated for 2019 ESPY Awards.

By Corinne Heller Jul 09, 2019 11:00 AMTags
Related: Serena Williams Tries to "Find Her Personal Work-Life Balance"

Serena Williams, U.S. Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, WNBA star Breanna Stewart and Alex Morgan, who helped lead the U.S. women's national soccer team to victory in the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup, are nominated for top honors at the 2019 ESPYs.

The annual ceremony celebrates the best stars in sports. Other nominees include tennis star Naomi Osaka, Norway soccer star Ada Hegerberg, golfers Brooke Henderson and Jin-Young Ko and Estonian freestyle skiier Kelly Sildaru.

The 2019 ESPYs will be hosted by Tracy Morgan and will air live on ABC on Wednesday, July 10, at 8 p.m. ET from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

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Serena Williams Wants to "Be the Best Mom and Be the Best in Tennis"

Check out facts about some of the all-star female ESPY nominees.

1. Serena Williams

What's there to say about Williams? She is the GOAT of the tennis world. Williams is nominated for Best Female Tennis Player. She has received the honor nine times since 2003.

2. Simone Biles (Olympic Gymnast, Team USA)

The Olympic champion and Best Female Athlete nominee, who won gold medals at the 2016 Summer Olympics, was one of many pro gymnasts who publicly accused former USA Gymnastic doctor Larry Nassar of sexual abuse, helping to put him prison for 40 to 175 years. In 2018, she wrote on social media, "I have promised myself that my story will be much greater than this and I promise all of you that I will never give up. I will compete with all of my heart and soul every time I step into the gym. I love this sport too much and I have never been a quitter. I won't let one man and the others that enabled him to steal my love and joy."

3. Alex Morgan, U.S. Women's National Soccer Team

The forward, who is nominated for the 2019 ESPY for is nominated for Best Female Athlete, helped lead her team to victory at the 2019 Women's World Cup. In the days leading up to the win, she stirred controversy and accusations of poor sportsmanship when she made a "drinking tea" gesture after winning a preliminary match. She later clarified that she was paying tribute to actress Sophie Turner's Instagram commentaries, and the star later praised her in return.

4. Naomi Osaka, Tennis Star

Serena Williams is one of the Haitian-Japanese athlete's three major role models. The other two: her mother and her sister, according to Vogue. Osaka is nominated for the 2019 ESPY for Best Breakthrough Athlete and Best Female Tennis Player.

5. Shawn Morelli, Paralympic Cyclist

The athlete is nominated for Best Female Athlete With a Disability. She is a U.S. Army veteran who served in Afghanistan. She suffered brain trauma, neck and nerve damage after an improvised explosive device detonated during a road-clearing mission. 

6. Pernille Harder, Denmark Soccer Player

The athlete, nominated for Best International Women's Soccer Player, last year become the first player to be announced as No 1 on The Guardian's list of the 100 best female soccer players in the world.

7. Oksana Masters, Paralympic Cross-Country Skier

The athlete is nominated for Best Female Athlete With a Disability. Masters was in Ukraine born with several birth defects induced by radiation from the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster. Her birth parents abandoned her at an orphanage and she was adopted by an American professor at age 7.

8. Chloe Kim, U.S. Snowboarder

At age 17, she became the youngest woman to win an Olympic snowboarding medal when she won gold in the women's snowboard halfpipe at the 2018 Winter Olympics. She is nominated for Best Female Actions Sports Athlete.

9. Elena Delle Donne, Washington Mystics (WNBA)

The athlete, nominated for Best WNBA Player, made history in 2013 to become the first WNBA rookie to lead all players in votes for the All-Star Game.

10. Candace Parker, Los Angeles Sparks (WNBA)

The athlete, nominated for Best WNBA Player, is a mom; she shares a daughter, Lailaa, with ex-husband and former NBA player Shelden Williams. Parker was a 22-year-old newlywed when she announced her pregnancy, just after being named the 2008 WNBA Rookie of the Year, according to The Undefeated. She said, "I like to say my daughter chose me. I feel like I'm lucky from that aspect that she's in such an important part of my career."

11. Kelly Sildaru, Estonian Freestyle Skiier

The athlete, nominated for Best Female Action Sports Athlete, became the youngest Winter X Games champion in history, taking gold in the skiing slopestyle competition when she was 13, according to CNN.

12. Jin Young Ko, South Korean Golfer

The athlete, who is nominated for Best Female Golfer, is pretty modest about her success. "I play, enjoy and am always trying to stay focused on my game," she said in an LPGA interview.

13. Diana Taurasi, Phoenix Mercury (WNBA)

The athlete is nominated for Best WNBA Player. Since 2017, she has been married to Penny Taylor, a retired Phoenix Mercury player who is now an assistant coach for the team.

14. Brooke Henderson, Canadian Golfer

The athlete is nominated for Best Female Golfer. She has the largest number of victories of any professional golfer on major tours in Canadian history.

15. Lucy Bronze, England Soccer Player

The athlete, who is nominated for Best International Women's Soccer Player, used to make and sell pizzas when she was at college. She told soccer magazine FourFourTwo, "I worked in Domino's while I was at uni and playing for Everton, but I actually loved it. We had a good bunch of people there, it was always a laugh and I always got free pizza at the end of the night. And I also worked in a five-a-side place pulling pints for the blokes who were playing. I loved that as well!"

16. Mikaela Shiffrin, U.S. Olympic Alpine Skiier

The two-time Olympic gold medalist is nominated for the ESPY for is nominated for Best Female Athlete. In 2018, she was featured in Maxim magazine's Hot 100, but did not pose in a typical bikini or sexy dress, but rather in her her white ski jacket and her Olympic medals. She told CNN, "The point for me was to say I'm here and I can be hot or sexy or whatever you want to call me but you don't objectify me because I'm in a bikini—I'm also pretty awesome based off my success in the sport. And for little girls out there who are growing up and they want to be something more than themselves ... like, you're enough."

17. Breanna Stewart, Seattle Storm (WNBA)

The basketball star is nominated for Best Female Athlete and Best WNBA Player. The WNBA player and four-time NCAA champion joined the #MeToo movement in 2017 when she published a powerful essay in The Players' Tribune, in which she detailed years of sexual abuse as a child. She wrote, "Part of why I waited so long to tell so many people — even those very close to me — is because I don't want to be defined by this any more than I want to be only defined by how well I play basketball. Both things are a part of me — they make me who I am. We are all a little more complicated than we might seem."

18. Sam Kerr, Australia Soccer Player

The athlete is nominated for Best International Women's Soccer Player. She wasn't always a champion. Kerr told The Observer that in her first season, she was by her own admission "total crap," scoring just a few goals. 

19. Ada Hegerberg, Norway Soccer Player

The athlete is nominated for Best International Women's Soccer Player. The New York Times dubs her the "best women's soccer player in the world."

Check out a full list of 2019 ESPY nominees.