The 2019 Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Sports Awards was filled with incredible athletes, inspiring moments and — of course — a massive amount of slime.
“I love the kids. I love the slime. I loved the games. I love seeing celebrities and athletes like become kids again. And it’s like my favorite thing,” Michael Strahan told Variety walking the orange carpet at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica with his own kids, twin daughters Isabella and Sophia, before the show.
The retired football player-turned TV personality has served as the executive producer for the awards since 2014 and returned to host for the second year in a row. Onstage, the Super Bowl winner kept the show light, mixing a good helping of comedy with a series of challenges including a dance battle, obstacle courses, and an extreme pillow fight — which divided up athletes and celebrities into competing teams led by retired NFL star Rob Gronkowski (team Orange Crunch) and alpine skier Lindsey Vonn (the Slime Slammers.) But the party really got going with Ciara’s (who is married to NFL star Russell Wilson) performance of her new single “Set,” “Level Up”, as well as some of her first big hit “1, 2 Step.”
U.S. Women’s national soccer team member Megan Rapinoe accepted the Generation of Change award. Rapinoe — whose outspoken activism has made headlines recently while the team marched toward a historic World Cup victory and after the team filed a gender discrimination lawsuit at U.S. soccer — continued to inspire with her speech.
“For me, sports changed everything. It brought me all around the world and around the country, and showed me different cultures and ways of life. It taught me we’re all the same,” she said. “Most of all, I thank, especially, all kids out there. Dream big and always have fun.”
Breanna Stewart, 2019 ESPY award winner for Best WNBA Player, shared her support for the team and friend Megan Rapinoe with Variety.
“I love everything about the U.S. women’s soccer team,” Stewart said. “They’re just continuing to help the fight and put it at the forefront of what needs to happen, what needs to change. And now, it’s just who’s going to help us besides the athletes to make that change?”
Another athlete celebrated for his achievements on and of the court was three-time NBA champion and Olympic gold-medalist Dwyane Wade. When his wife, actress Gabrielle Union presented him with the Legend award with a brief joke about Wade also managing to take care of the dishes, the retired NBA player accepted the orange blimp trophy and a gold slime shower.
During his speech, Wade acknowledged the pride he felt for the future of the NBA in attendance including Zion Williamson, Anthony Davis, Ben Simmons, and Trae Young: “The one thing I know of all of us is that we all had a dream and in the midst of that dream, someway, somehow, I got to this stage where today I’m officially called a legend.”
The 2019 Kids’ Choice Sports Awards will air August 10 on Nickelodeon.
The 2019 Kids’ Choice Sports Award Winners are…
Legend Award: Dwyane Wade
Generation Change Award: Megan Rapinoe
Favorite Male Athlete: Stephen Curry (NBA, Golden State Warriors)
Favorite Female Athlete: Alex Morgan (NWSL, Orlando Pride)
King of Swag: Odell Beckham Jr. (NFL, Cleveland Browns)
Queen of Swag: Nikki Bella (WWE)
Best Cannon: Tom Brady (NFL, New England Patriots)
Biggest Powerhouse: LeBron James (NBA, Los Angeles Lakers)
Clutch Player of the Year: Stephen Curry (NBA, Golden State Warriors)
Favorite Action Sports Star: Chloe Kim (Snowboarder)
Favorite Breakout Player: Saquon Barkley (NFL, New York Giants)
Hands of Gold: Antonio Brown (NFL, Oakland Raiders)
Need for Speed: Lindsey Vonn (Alpine Ski Racer)
Sickest Moves: Alex Morgan (NWSL, Orlando Pride)
Nothing But Net: Stephen Curry (NBA, Golden State Warriors)
Favorite Soccer Star: Alex Morgan (NWSL, Orlando Pride)
Favorite Golfer: Tiger Woods
Favorite Tennis Player: Serena Williams
Favorite Baseball Player: Aaron Judge (New York Yankees)
Favorite Basketball Player: Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors)
Favorite Football Player: Tom Brady (New England Patriots)
Favorite Hockey Player: Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins)
Favorite Esports Star: SSSniperWolf
Favorite Gymnast: Simone Biles
Most Valuable Most Valuable Player: Giannis Antetokounmpo, 2019 NBA MVP