Swimmer Diana Nyad, just one month after her record-breaking Cuba-to-Florida swim, was one of the women honored with a special tribute award.
Among those honored were Olympic gold medal winners, Guinness world record holders and World Champions.
Women in Sports Foundation 34th Gala Salute
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Their sports range from bobsledding and badminton to surfing, skiing, soccer, tennis, volleyball, basketball and ice hockey, according to the Women in Sports Foundation, a non-profit organization that hosts the annual event.
WSF president Angela Ruggiero gave a keynote address about the life-lessons she learned from playing ice hockey, her years at Harvard and on the International Olympic Committee.
She was joined on stage by 10-year-old football phenom Sam Gordon and Amanda Rivera, a “GoGirlGo!” participant from the New York Junior Tennis League.
Annual Salute host Hannah Storm introduced this year’s highlight video that featured the accomplishments of many of the women athletes. Nyad was featured along with Serena Williams, Abby Wambach, Alex Morgan, Natalie Coughlin and Robin Roberts
The highlight of the evening were the 2013 Sportswoman of the Year Awards. They went to WNBA star Candace Parker for team sport and swimming sensation Missy Franklin for individual sport.
Among other honorees on the night, were Melissa Stockwell, a U.S. Army veteran and Purple Heart winner who lost her leg in Iraq. She became a Paralympic swimmer and accomplished triathlete. Michelle Kwan and Bryant Gumbel presented her with the Wilma Rudolph Courage Award.
Golf legend Annika Sorenstam presented Duke University student Vivian Hao, a collegiate tennis player, with the ANNIKA Inspiration Award for her work in the community.
The WNBA won the “Billie Jean King Contribution Award” for contributing to the continuing evolution and growth of women’s professional sports.
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