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Gymnasts Liukin, Johnson Earn ESPY Awards
(24 votes, average 3.38 out of 5)

Olympic champion gymnasts Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson (U.S.) picked up more hardware Wednesday night at the annual ESPY Awards in Los Angeles.

Nastia Liukin (U.S.) shows off her ESPY award for Best Female Athlete 2009.

Liukin, the 2008 Olympic all-around champion, won Best Female Athlete. The 19 year old defeated tennis star Serena Williams, professional basketball player Candace Parker, Olympic swimmer Natalie Coughlin and Connecticut basketball player Maya Moore. Eight-time Olympic swimming gold medalist Michael Phelps won Best Male Athlete.

"It's still a little surreal," Liukin said backstage at the Nokia Center after accepting the trophy. "It's definitely going to add a little bit of weight to my purse on the way home."

Johnson, the 2008 Olympic balance beam gold medalist and recent "Dancing with the Stars" champion, won the award for Best Female Olympian.

2004 Olympian Courtney Kupets was nominated for Best Female College Athlete, which went to Moore.

Liukin, who is training for the 2012 Olympic Games, will return to competition this month at the CoverGirl U.S. Classic on July 25 in Des Moines, Iowa. Liukin plans to compete on balance beam at the event, and then contribute to the live TV and online coverage on Universal Sports.

The 2009 ESPY Awards, hosted by actor Samuel L. Jackson, will be broadcast on ESPN at 9 p.m. EST on Sunday.

Comments (5)add comment

Charis Himeda said:

How did Shawn Johnson win "Best Female Olympian" when Liukin won the all-around & 5 medals to boot? Not to take anything away from Johnson's accomplishments, but this seems a bit like a consolation prize.
July 17, 2009
Votes: -5

Christi said:

ESPY Photos!
Photo Galleries from the ESPYS!


July 17, 2009 | url
Votes: +1

Karen Andrea said:

Best Female Olympian
I think Shawn Johnson may have won "Best Female Olympian" because of the way she represented the United States. Yes, she was runner-up to Nastia in the all-around, and she won fewer medals than Nastia, but being an Olympian is also about sportsmanship. Shawn was very supportive of Alicia Sacramone after the team competition saying "We love her no matter what" and when questioned about her silver in the all-around Shawn said it meant the world to her and she wouldn't trade it. She showed the world her love of the sport and her depth of character, and I must think all of that was factored in at the ESPY awards. Medal count and medal color isn't everything. Congrats to Shawn and Nastia - I love you both.
July 17, 2009
Votes: +10

vmg said:

I see your point but I'm sure that it had nothing to do with the total medal count. Congratulations to both of them!! Both exceptional athletes and women!
July 17, 2009
Votes: +0

gymcoach said:

The first comment is ridiculous!! "Charis Himeda", you should feel lucky that Nastia didn't have to compete with Shawn for "Best Female Athlete" Award, otherwise there's no way she could win. Yes, Nastia won AA and one more bronze medal, but Shawn won American's heart, which is MUCH MORE precious to LOTS of people including myself.

Also, by your argument, we could say that swimmer Natalie Coughlin, who won six Olympic medals in Beijing, making her the most decorated U.S. female athlete at Beijing Olympics, should have won that award over Nastia.
July 19, 2009
Votes: +4

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