Four women, six men, a horse and a team are the finalists for Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year award.
The only candidates from the four major U.S. team sports leagues are Golden State guard Stephen Curry, who was NBA Most Valuable Player and the MVP of the Warriors' triumph in the NBA Finals, and Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis, who was recognized for both his play on the field and his charitable work.
The female nominees are Carli Lloyd, who scored a hat trick to help the U.S. women's soccer team beat Japan in the World Cup final; Ronda Rousey, a dominant force in mixed martial arts; Serena Williams, who won the first three major championships of the year; and Simone Biles, who earned her third consecutive all-around title at the U.S. national gymnastics championships.
The other male nominees are Usain Bolt, who successfully defended his world championships in the 100- and 200-meter dashes and the 4x100 relay; Novak Djokovic, who won three Grand Slam titles; Lionel Messi, who led Barcelona to the Spanish domestic league and cup soccer championship as well as the UEFA Champions League crown; and Jordan Spieth, who became the second-youngest Masters champion and the youngest to U.S. Open champion.
American Pharoah made the cut after becoming the first horse in 37 years to win the Triple Crown before also capturing the Breeders' Cup Classic.
The Kansas City Royals were honored as a group after earning their first World Series title since 1985. They were on the brink of elimination in the American League Division Series against the Houston Astros before rallying to advance. They subsequently beat the Toronto Blue Jays in the AL Championship Series and the New York Mets in the World Series, bouncing back after falling short in the Fall Classic the previous year.
Sports Illustrated will announce the winner Dec. 14.