"Good Morning America" anchor Robin Roberts, who was one of the first women to anchor ESPN's "SportsCenter" and "NFL Primetime," will be honored with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2013 ESPYS, ESPN announced on Tuesday.
The award is given annually to individuals whose contributions transcend sports. While Roberts is credited for blazing the trail for women in broadcasting, she has also inspired viewers by overcoming not one, but two life-threatening illnesses.
In 2007, two years after becoming co-anchor of "GMA," Roberts was diagnosed with breast cancer and chose to turn the cameras on herself so viewers could follow her journey to beat the disease.
In 2012, Roberts announced on the air that she was suffering from myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a blood and bone marrow disease. She vowed to beat it and a few months later, once again turned the camera on herself while receiving treatment.
Following a successful bone marrow transplant and 174-day medical leave from the ABC morning news programs, Roberts returned to work Feb. 20.
“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,” said ESPN president John Skipper. “Robin’s accomplishments in so many areas — as an athlete, a broadcaster, a cancer survivor and more — demonstrate her ability to shine regardless of adversity and we could not be more proud to honor her as the recipient of this year’s Arthur Ashe Courage Award.”
The Arthur Ashe Courage Award is described by ESPN as the emotional pinnacle of the ceremony honoring athletic achievement. Recent winners have included Nelson Mandela, boxer Dewey Bozella and women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt, who was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease in 2011.
The ESPYS will be broadcast live from the L.A.'s Nokia Theatre on July 17.