Some of the best athletes in American sports have retired in the last year, and they will be honored on Wednesday night. Kobe Bryant, Peyton Manning and Abby Wambach will all receive the Icon Award at the 2016 ESPYS.
Justin Timberlake will present the award to the athletes that all retired as one of the best ever to play their respective sports. A year ago, the award was given to former New York Yankee great Derek Jeter, who called it quits after the 2014 MLB season.
All three athletes went out on memorable notes. Five months before her final game with Team USA, Wambach helped the United States Women’s National Team win gold at the 2015 World Cup. In Peyton Manning’s final game, he started at quarterback for the Super-Bowl winning Denver Broncos. Kobe Bryant went out on a 60-point performance that helped the Los Angeles Lakers overcome a 10-point deficit in the final three minutes of their regular-season finale.
When Wambach played her last game in December, she was the leading scorer in the history of international soccer. Bryant ended his career with five championships and as the NBA’s third-leading scorer. Peyton Manning holds numerous NFL passing records, including touchdowns and yards.
Along with the Icon Award, the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance is considered to be the biggest award of the night. Vice President Joe Biden will present that to broadcaster Craig Sager.
WWE superstar John Cena will host the 2016 ESPY awards. Other presenters include Stephen Curry, Lindsey Vonn, Dwyane Wade and JJ Watt.