With one of the best years in sports closing up (Cleveland! Final Five! Olympics! Cubs win!), here's a great way to end this year and look forward to the next.
Read more to find out who won which award!
Awarding those whose smile and positive attitude lifts up their team.
Look at that smile! Seriously! Even though his team lost this year, they still won in many other ways, like how they are built to be a good team for years to come and how Lindor is their franchise shortstop. A positive attitude is key to being a great player and Lindor absolutely nails it.
It takes a golden smile to be a golden girl! Biles became one of America's favorite sweethearts with her flawless execution on the floor and her sweet personality. Biles will continue to wow audiences and capture the hearts of many with whatever endeavor she chooses.
Best Winning Reaction
For those whose reactions are priceless and make sports worth it.
Aly Raisman winning silver in the floor routine
Years of hard work paid off... again. Raisman worked so hard to get back on the team and absolutely executes her routine. The other competitors did not have a chance with her and Biles in the competition because of how perfectly they performed their routines. Raisman upped her routine after winning gold in 2012 and looked fantastic. Her reaction to it was very understandable because everything paid off in that moment.
José Fernandez during the entire Home Run Derby
He did not compete in this at all, but he acted like he did. This was one of the perfect displays of his personality because he valued his teammates highly and loved them more than anything. His legacy will always be remembered by his teammates as a loving and fun person who always supported them.
1:56 is when José comes in to save the day and help him relax. Watch on from there to see more of why he deserved this recognition.
Toughest Player Award
Those who demonstrate excellence and overcome obstacles thrown in their way.
December 31, 2015 changed Ms. Laing's life forever when she played the game she loved at Gilette Stadium and then lost her ability to walk in an instant. Laing suffered a severe spinal cord injury when she went into the boards and had to be carried off the ice.
Since then, Laing has made progress in her recovery and continues to be '14 Strong'. Her team, the Boston Pride, won the Isobel Cup in her honor this year.
Laing also received the Dana Reeve Hope Award this past fall due to her now being an advocate for those with spinal cord injuries. Laing is truly a strong person and should be known by all for her grit and tenacity.
"The last time I came home midseason it was to get treatment for cancer," Berry said after playing in Atlanta and picking off Matt Ryan to win the game.
Berry did the unthinkable last year, he came back even better after suffering through rounds of chemo just to get closer to the life he had before.
Berry is tough because he remembers what it was like to spend Christmas in the ER and he decided to play like he means it because he actually does love the game. Berry is genuine and understands more than anyone how great life is.
Under the Radar Award
Awarding those whose great performance goes unnoticed due to superstar teammates.
Kocian seemed to get less attention than her teammates but that did not stop her from being the best bars specialist on the team and second best in the world. Kocian earned a near perfect score of 15.933 on the uneven bars that helped the U.S. team score a 184.897, a win by 8.209 points. Without Kocian's specialty, the U.S. would not have been as dominant in that area of the Team Final.
When you have the best swimmer of all time as your teammate and an infamous liar, you are bound to be not featured as heavily. Also, if you look up his name, the show creator shows up first rather than a 3x gold medal winner! Murphy set a new world record in the 100 m backstroke at 51.85 and he's only 21 years old! He also broke the record for fastest leadoff backstroke in his split for the 4x100 meter medley relay, a team that featured superstars Michael Phelps and Nathan Adrian. Murphy will be one of the best swimmers in the world if he keeps this up and will not be under the radar when 2020 comes around.
Young Gun Awards
Honoring those who took over the professional league as their pro career began.
"Hi, I'm Penny Oleksiak and I won four medals in Rio, including one gold, and I am also 16 years old." Do you realize how awesome that is?! Oleksiak already put herself as one of the best Canadian Olympic swimmers of all time in her first ever Olympics. The future is extremely bright for Oleksiak and Canada as she should be swimming for many more Olympics to come.
Andre De Grasse
Canada's first ever 100 m, 200 m, and 4x100 m relay medalist was only 21 at the time of the Olympics. It takes a fast person to take over for the greatest sprinter of all time and De Grasse is just the person. His silver medal winning 200 m race was wonderful to watch and it showed that he will soon be the new track king.
Called up to the senior national team at 17, scored in her debut, and was named to the 18 player Olympic team. Pugh became the youngest U.S. player to score in the Olympics in her game against Colombia. Did we also mention that she graduated high school months before the Olympics? Pugh will be a star on the U.S. team for more Olympics and World Cups in the future.
2015 may have been when he was drafted and made his debut, but McDavid's injury on November 3rd, 2015 made 2016 the majority of his rookie season. McDavid played in the World Championship team and won gold, captained Team North America in the World Cup, and now is captain of the Oilers. All of this happened at 19 years of age. Did I also mention that Edmonton is now in second place in the Pacific? Started from the bottom...
The unanimous NL Rookie of the Year answered the Dodger's prayers of finding their franchise shortstop. With a season for the books among rookie shortstops for the Dodgers, Seager once again returned Los Angeles to being the great rookie producing machine it once was.
Best Year Long Retirement Party
A specific award for a player who went out on the highest of highs.
Any party with Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant is the best and winning the first World Series in 108 years is icing on the cake. Ross ended his long career with a home run in the World Series that helped the Cubs seal the victory in Cleveland. He also was carried off by his teammates because walking away from a career is overrated.
Best Record Breaker
Awarding those who smashed records and chiseled their names in stone as the best.
Not breaking a world record is so not Ledecky's thing and she only settles for gold in all her individual events (her lone silver is from a relay). Since age 16, Ledecky has broken 13 world records. Not sure what you were doing at age 16 but I know I sure was not doing anything near that. Ledecky was named U.S. Swimmer of the Year and U.S. Female Olympic Athlete of the Rio games. Ledecky is a true record breaker and cannot be stopped by anyone.
Say hello to the second best scorer of all time in the NHL! Jágr just passed Mark Messier in career points with his 1888th point against the Bruins on December 22nd. Jágr now has 1889 points but he will definitely score more before the season ends. He will not catch Gretzky though because he is in a whole different league, so technically Jágr is the best scorer not named Wayne Gretzky.
Most Charitable Athlete
For those with big hearts that care for others and use their stature for good.
Keys was named ambassador to FearlesslyGIRL, a leadership aimed at empowering young girls. Keys is using her experience at being isolated as a teenager to help others not feel that way. The organization is a great way to improve the future by hosting summits that create future leaders of North America.
Subban was so charitable and wonderful to the sick children in Montréal that the staff in the hospitals were worried to tell the children about his trade to Nashville. Subban brought Christmas magic once again for sick children but this time around he set up the children from Montréal to be pen pals with the children in Nashville. Subban took out children with sickle cell disease on a carriage ride to go on a shopping spree at the Predators Team Store. He also was joined by defenseman Roman Josi and country singer Dierks Bentley to make their day even more special. Mr. Subban is an absolute angel to the children in the cities he plays in.
That's all for 2016! I hope you enjoyed this year and all the great performances in sports. Remember, the only way is up! 2017 here we come!
Hi, I'm Jenna and I'm a sports fan! I've been avidly watching sports since 2011 because I found that by watching sports, I would be able to communicate with my dad and brother better. Ever since I got into sports, I've been able to enjoy myself more when I go to sporting events with my family.