Photo courtesy of Special Olympics International.
Photo courtesy of Special Olympics International.

The Special Olympics World Games was named the top sports moment of 2015 at the 11th Annual LA Sports Awards.

The Special Olympics World Games, held in the U.S. for the first time in 1999, drew 6,163 athletes from 164 nations, the most nations to gather in Los Angeles for an event.

Special Olympics World Games President/CEO Patrick McClenahan received the Sports Executive of the Year Award at the gala at The Beverly Hilton Thursday organized by the Los Angeles Sports Council.

The region’s Top 10 sports moments of 2015 was selected by a 10-member media panel combined with the results of online fan voting.

The remaining top 10 moments were:

— Santa Anita-based American Pharoah wins Triple Crown and Breeders’ Cup Classic;

— Dodgers Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw become the most dominating pitching teammates in 50 years;

— Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant announces his retirement;

— Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim outfielder Mike Trout robs Seattle’s Jesus Montero of a three-run home run with a catch at Angel Stadium on Sept. 26;

— Los Angeles chosen as the U.S. candidate to host the 2024 Olympics;

— Mexico defeats U.S., 3-2, in overtime in CONCACAF Cup at Rose Bowl;

— USC defeats UCLA to win Pac-12 South Division;

— Los Angeles Clippers defeat San Antonio in Game 7 of their NBA playoff series;

— Three NFL teams vie to move to Los Angeles.

A “moment” can be a specific instant in time — a winning goal, hit or shot, an individual or team milestone, an upset victory, a remarkable game or series of games, a special event or a career achievement.

Nominated moments must have taken place in the local area or have involved a local athlete or team.

As previously announced, Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin was honored as Sportsman of the Year; the World Cup-winning U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team as the Sportswomen of the Year; and USC football Coach Clay Helton as Coach of the Year.

Longtime Los Angeles Dodgers announcer Vin Scully received a lifetime achievement award.

—City News Service

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