Michelle Obama to Present Arthur Ashe Courage Award to Special Olympics Founder!

Photo of Michelle Obama by David Slijper/Courtesy of ABC

Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founder of the Special Olympics, will be posthumously given the Arthur Ashe Courage Award – the award to be presented to Timothy Shriver, the chairman of Special Olympics and will accept the award on his mother’s behalf.

The award will be presented during the 25th Espys on July 12. The Espys will be televised by ABC.

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ESPN will posthumously honor Eunice Kennedy Shriver with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at “The 25th ESPYS Presented by Capital One.” The company today announced that former First Lady Michelle Obama will present the award to Timothy Shriver, who is the chairman of Special Olympics and will accept the award on his mother’s behalf.

“Eunice Kennedy Shriver was a passionate champion for those with developmental challenges, empowering them to fulfill their highest potential,” said Mrs. Obama. “Her work to promote inclusion and acceptance transformed the lives of countless young athletes and inspired us all. I am incredibly honored to present this award to her son to celebrate her life’s work.”

Eunice Kennedy Shriver is being honored with the award for her dedication to using the power of sports to empower individuals with intellectual disabilities to become acknowledged and celebrated members of society. Shriver was a resolute champion for the rights of people with intellectual disabilities and her legacy lives on through Special Olympics, the global movement she founded in 1968.

Presented annually to individuals whose contributions transcend sports, the award recognizes those individuals who embody the spirit of the trophy’s namesake, tennis legend Arthur Ashe, who dedicated his life to human rights advocacy. The 25th ESPYS, hosted by five-time NFL MVP and two-time Super Bowl champion Peyton Manning, will air live on Wednesday, July 12, at 8 p.m. EDT on ABC from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. The Arthur Ashe Courage Award is sponsored by Cadillac. Tickets are available for public purchase at AXS.com. For additional ESPYS news and information, please follow the official Twitter handle: @ESPYS. More information can be found in the ESPYS media kit.

The Arthur Ashe Courage Award

The Arthur Ashe Courage Award is presented each year to individuals whose contributions transcend sports. Past honorees include: Jim Valvano (1993); Steve Palermo (1994); Howard Cosell (1995); Loretta Claiborne (1996); Muhammad Ali (1997); Dean Smith (1998); Billie Jean King (1999); Dave Sanders (2000); Olympian Cathy Freeman (2001); Todd Beamer, Mark Bingham, Tom Burnett and Jeremy Glick, four passengers who lost their lives September 11 on United Flight 93 (2002); Pat and Kevin Tillman (2003); Liberian-born soccer legend George Weah (2004); disabled athletes Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah and Jim MacLaren (2005); Afghan female athletes (2006); and Trevor Ringland and Dave Cullen for their work with PeacePlayers (2007); U.S. Olympians Tommie Smith and John Carlos (2008); former president Nelson Mandela (2009);  the Thomas family of Parkersburg, IA (2010); boxer Dewey Bozella (2011); women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt (2012); Robin Roberts (2013), Michael Sam (2014), Caitlyn Jenner (2015), Zaevion Dobson (2016).