Eunice Kennedy Shriver to Be Honored With Arthur Ashe Courage Award at ESPYs

Special Olympics founder will be celebrated posthumously at 25th annual awards show on July 12

Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver is set to be posthumously honored at the 25th ESPYs awards next month, ESPN announced on Tuesday.

Timothy Shriver, one of her five children and Chairman of Special Olympics, will accept the award on her behalf at the awards show hosted by Peyton Manning from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

Shriver, who was the sister of President John F. Kennedy and senators Robert F. Kennedy and Ted Kennedy, first launched the organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities in 1968.

It now provides year-round training and competitions to more than 5.3 million athletes and Unified Sports partners in nearly 170 countries, and the Los Angeles Summer Games in 2015 were part of ESPN’s daily TV coverage.

In 1984, Shriver was honored for her work by receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Ronald Reagan. She died in August 2009 at age 88.

“The effort that Eunice Kennedy Shriver and her family have been displaying for these past five decades is truly remarkable,” ESPYs executive producer Maura Mandt said in a statement.

“We are honored to celebrate Eunice’s work and the bravery of the athletes of Special Olympics, whose efforts and performances are as inspiring as any of those we celebrate on this show,” Mandt added. “It’s stories like this one that show what the the ESPYS are really about.”

Connor Schell, ESPN senior vice president and executive producer, original content, continued: “Eunice Kennedy Shriver’s legacy is remarkable, far-reaching and still growing. As a proud global supporter of Special Olympics for over 35 years, ESPN has had the privilege of showcasing a small slice of her work to fans and families around the world, allowing many of us to witness first-hand the incredible impact she has had on millions of people.”

Presented annually to individuals whose contributions transcend sports, the Arthur Ashe Courage Award recognizes those individuals who embody the spirit of the trophy’s namesake, tennis legend Ashe, who dedicated his life to human rights advocacy. Recent recipients have included Michael Sam and Caitlyn Jenner.

The ESPYs will air July 12 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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