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Once a year, celebrity athletes merge in a collective self-congratulation known as the ESPYs, and rarely is Colorado so well represented. Last night, however, local sports figures were among the most celebrated winners of the event.
Vail’s Lindsey Vonn snagged two awards: female athlete of the year and best female U.S. Olympic athlete. The accolades follow a big year for Vonn (pictured), which includes gold and bronze medals at the 2010 Winter Olympics and her third-straight overall World Cup title, notes the Vail Daily.
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Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow didn’t bring home any awards, but he was skewered by host Seth Myers: “Tim’s jersey is already one of the top selling jerseys in the NFL. I heard that and thought, ‘Jesus, who does this guy know? Oh right, Jesus'” (via Pro Football Talk).
In an emotional moment, Denver Nuggets coach George Karl was honored with the perseverance award, named for college basketball coach Jim Valvano, who died from cancer. Karl walked out to a standing ovation and used the moment to rally for a national fund that will match private cancer-research dollars.
“What we need with cancer, with the people like the Jimmy V Foundation, is a partner, and the partner should be our national government,” Karl said (entire speech via The Denver Post).