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Sports Illustrated Awards 2021 Announce Winners

            Once a year, illustrious sports magazine, Sports Illustrated, names some of their favorite athletes and teams to have appeared throughout the year. Categories include athlete of the year (both female and male), team of the year, breakthrough athlete, play of the year, hometown hero, best dressed, and gamer of the year. The ceremony was held Dec. 7th and was co-hosted by DJ Khaled and Cari Champion, a sportscaster and TV host.

            The winners of Athlete of the Year include 18 year-old Olympic gymnast, Suni Lee, and 25 year-old Olympic swimmer, Caeleb Dressel. They were both honored for representing their respective sports this summer at the Tokyo Olympics. Lee, a first-generation Hmong American, won silver in the team final, gold in women’s all-around competition, and bronze on the uneven bars. In her acceptance speech, Lee said, “The one thing that I would say would be you don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”

Likewise, Dressel thanked and expressed the importance of his coach, Gregg Troy. Dressel stated that he’s “really good at swimming fast, but I don’t know how to swim fast. I need someone to teach me that.” At the Tokyo Olympics, Dressel made history swimming 6 different events (12 total swims), set record-breaking times, and won 5 gold medals. He’s the third American male swimmer to win 3 individual golds during a single Summer Games.

Sportsperson of the Year went to Tom Brady, who won his 7th Super Bowl and 5th Super Bowl MVP earlier this year. This is the second time Brady has won the award (first in 2005).

Other winners include Billie Jean King, tennis icon, for the Muhammad Ali Legacy Award, Miami Heart guard Tyler Herro winning Best Dressed Athlete, LaMelo Ball for Breakthrough Athlete, and the Atlanta Braves winning Team of the Year.

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