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Danica Patrick to Be First Woman to Host ESPYs

ESPN’s annual awards show is July 18

Danica Patrick will host this year’s ESPYs, becoming the first female to emcee ESPN’s annual award show that honors the best in sports over the last year.

During her appearance on Tuesday’s “Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” Patrick broke the news, stating: “I have a thing for doing things for the first time as a woman.”

In a follow-up statement on Wednesday morning, Patrick added: “It is the biggest night of the year for sports. Every year I leave feeling so inspired! I am excited to be able to help celebrate, laugh and cry about the past year in sports with everyone. It’s going to be a great night and one full of more than a few surprises.”

Patrick previously announced she will retire from racing following Sunday’s Indianapolis 500.

“We are thrilled to have an icon like Danica bring her talent and fresh energy to this year’s show,” said ESPYs executive producer Maura Mandt.

The 2018 ESPYs will be held at Los Angeles’ Microsoft Theater on July 18 and air live on ABC at 5 p.m. PT.

ESPN announced last week that the women who accused former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State team doctor Larry Nassar of sexual abuse will be honored with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.