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ESPN has chosen Michelle Obama to help posthumously honor Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver.
The former first lady is presenting the Arthur Ashe Courage Award to Shriver’s son, Timothy Shriver, during ABC’s broadcast of the ESPY awards in Los Angeles on Wednesday night.
Timothy Shriver chairs the Special Olympics, a sporting event his mother founded in the late 1960s to help empower people with intellectual disabilities. Eunice Shriver is being honored “for her dedication to using the power of sports to empower individuals with intellectual disabilities to become acknowledged and celebrated members of society.”
Obama said in a statement that Eunice Shriver’s work to promote their inclusion and acceptance was inspiring and changed the lives of countless young athletes.
“Eunice Kennedy Shriver was a passionate champion for those with developmental challenges, empowering them to fulfill their highest potential,” said 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 died in 2009. Her sister, Rosemary, was intellectually disabled.
The courage award is given annually to someone who embodies the spirit of its namesake, tennis legend and longtime human rights campaigner Arthur Ashe.
The ESPYs air live at 8 p.m. ET Wednesday on ABC. Peyton Manning hosts.
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