Action sports at The ESPYS, A Look Back
L.A. is live
This week, the annual ESPYs return to Los Angeles to celebrate individual and team athletic achievement and other sports-related performances in the past calendar year, including Best Male and Female Action Sports Athlete of the Year. But before the lights go on at L.A. Live, XGames.com presents a look back at past winners of the award, which has been in existence since 2000.
2000: Tony Hawk
In 2000, the category of "Action Athlete of The Year" was added to the ESPYs rundown. Skateboarding legend Tony Hawk, who by then had landed the first 900 air on a skateboard a year earlier, was already making waves in the sports universe when he took home the honor in 2000.
2001: Shaun Palmer
In 2001, snowboarder/mountain biker/motocross racer Shaun Palmer took home the Action Athlete of The Year award at the ESPYs. Considered one of the forefathers of action sports, Palmer had already won five X Games gold medals by the time he won an ESPY.
2002: Kelly Clark
In 2002, the ESPYs awarded snowboard halfpipe legend Kelly Clark her first Best Action Sports Athlete of The Year award. But it wouldn't be her last. Clark returned to grab the award in 2015, proving that her dominance in the pipe was no fluke.
2003: Shaun White
In 2003, the Best Male Action Athlete of The Year award went to no other than Shaun White, for his domination in both snowboarding and vertical skateboarding. In 2006, he would return to grab the Best Male Action Sports Athlete and Best U.S. Olympian Male awards. Then, from 2008-2012, White claimed the Best Male Action Sports Athlete award each year, along with an additional Best U.S. Olympian in 2009. Clearly, he's accustomed to the ESPYs red carpet by now.
2004: Ryan Nyquist, Dallas Friday
In 2004, the ESPYs began awarding both Best Male and Female Action Sports Athletes of The Year awards. That year, BMXer Ryan Nyquist (left) took the male award while wakeboarder Dallas Friday (right) took the female award.
2005: Dave Mirra, Sofia Mulanovich
In 2005, the late BMXer Dave Mirra (left) took home the Best Male Action Sports Athlete of The Year award alongside surfer Sofia Mulanovich (right), who took home the Best Female Action Sports Athlete of The Year.
2006: Hannah Teter, Shaun White
In 2006, following her Olympic gold medal in snowboard halfpipe at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Torino, Italy, Hannah Teter (pictured) took home the Best Female Action Sports Athlete of The Year award alongside Shaun White, who also took home the gold for the U.S. in Torino in the same event.
2007: Travis Pastrana, Sarah Burke
In the time between the 2006 and 2007 ESPYs, Travis Pastrana made headlines around the world by landing the world's first double backflip on a dirt bike at the X Games in Los Angeles. The highlight clip became one of the most iconic moments in X Games history, and it netted him the Best Male Action Sports Athlete of The Year in 2007, alongside freeskiing pioneer Sarah Burke, who took home the Best Female Action Sports Athlete of The Year.
2008: Gretchen Bleiler, Shaun White
In 2008, snowboarding reigned supreme at the ESPYs. Olympic snowboard halfpipe athlete Gretchen Bleiler (pictured) grabbed the Best Female Action Sports Athlete of The Year award alongside Shaun White, who would take home his first of four consecutive Best Male Action Sports Athlete of The Year awards.
2009: Maya Gabeira, Shaun White
In 2009, Brazilian big wave surfer Maya Gabeira (pictured) took home the Best Female Action Sports Athlete of The Year award. Later that year, she surfed one of the biggest waves ever by a woman (46 feet) at Dungeons in South Africa. And again, Shaun White would return for another Best Male Action Sports Athlete of The Year.
2010: Torah Bright, Shaun White
In 2010, Australian snowboarder Torah Bright (pictured) took home Olympic gold in the halfpipe in the Vancouver. A few months later, Bright won her first ESPY for Best Female Action Sports Athlete of The Year. U.S. Olympic snowboarder Shaun White also took home gold medal in Vancouver, and returned yet again to claim another Best Male Action Sports Athlete of The Year ESPY.
2011: Steph Gilmore, Shaun White
Australian professional surfer and multiple world title winner Steph Gilmore (pictured) appeared in the 2011 edition of ESPN The Magazine's "Body Issue." She followed that up by taking home the Best Female Action Sports Athlete of The Year. It was another repeat for Shaun White, who was still at the top of his game in snowboard and skateboard halfpipe.
2012: Jamie Anderson, Shaun White
Following her gold medal win in snowboard Slopestyle at X Games Aspen 2012, Jamie Anderson (pictured) swung by L.A. to pick up her first ESPY for Best Female Action Sports Athlete of The Year. 2012 would also mark the last year of Shaun White's winning streak for Best Male Action Sports Athlete of The Year.
2013: Steph Gilmore, Nyjah Huston
2013 marked a changing of the guard for Best Male Action Sports Athlete of The Year. Street skateboarder Nyjah Huston (pictured) was already winning contests and collecting big paychecks for years before he claimed his first ESPY, but he was now emerging above the skate spotlight into mainstream attention. Shaun White was out, Nyjah Huston was in. Steph Gilmore returned to claim her second Best Female Action Sports Athlete of The Year award.
2014: Jamie Anderson, Nyjah Huston
In 2014, Jamie Anderson (left) took home another Best Female Action Sports Athlete of The Year award, while Nyjah Huston (right) did much the same for Best Male Action Sports Athlete. Anderson's consistency was impressive, winning gold in Snowboard Slopestyle at X Games (along with a gold medal win at the 2014 Sochi Olympics) and Huston was unbeatable in Street League, at X Games and every spot he skated.
2015: Kelly Clark, Ryan Dungey
Last year, motocross and supercross legend Ryan Dungey (pictured) nabbed his first Best Male Action Sports Athlete of The Year award at the ESPYs, while snowboard halfpipe legend Kelly Clark returned to take home her second Best Female Action Sports Athlete of The Year. Who will take home the honors in 2016? Tune in on Wednesday, July 13 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC to find out..