Robin Roberts has been announced as the 2013 recipient of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, which recognizes individuals whose contributions reach beyond the sports world. Roberts will be presented the honor during ESPN’s annual ESPY Awards later this summer.
During the 1990s, Robin Roberts became one of ESPN’s first female sports anchors. She is credited as a ground-breaker, paving the way for young women in the sports media and broadcasting industry. Roberts continues to encourage and inspire the public, most recently by sharing her personal battle against breast cancer.
In an official announcement on the network’s website today, ESPN president John Skipper spoke of the qualities that made Roberts a candidate for the Arthur Ashe Courage Award:
“Robin brings an amazing amount of energy, compassion and determination to everything she does. Those qualities made her an incredible asset during her time here at ESPN, and they have served her well as she battled the terrible health challenges that she’s had to face.”
Following her time at ESPN, Roberts joined ABC’s Good Morning America, where she has stayed for nearly two decades. After being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007, she boldly shared her battle and recovery with the show’s viewers.
She shared another health struggle with the public last year when she was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder. Robin Roberts recently returned to Good Morning America after taking time off to receive a bone marrow transplant to combat the disorder.
During this morning’s show, the anchor expressed her gratitude at being honored with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. “When my ESPN family called me, I was absolutely speechless,” Roberts explained.
“Arthur was a dear, dear friend of mine. We served on boards together, and I remember one thing he told me,” she continued. “He said, ‘When it’s all said and done, if all people can say about you is that, hey, you were a pretty good broadcaster, you haven’t fulfilled all that you can do in life.'”
According to ESPN, recipients of the award “reflect the spirit of Arthur Ashe, possessing strength in the face of adversity, courage in the face of peril and the willingness to stand up for their beliefs no matter what the cost.”
As this year’s recipient, Robin Roberts will join an impressive list of individuals. Previous honorees include such legendary figures as Jean King, Pat Summitt, Muhammad Ali, Jim Valvano, and Dean Smith.
The Arthur Ashe Courage Award will be presented to Robin Roberts at the ESPY Awards on July 17. The ceremony will be broadcast live on the ESPN network.
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