Caitlyn Jenner will make her first scheduled public appearance at the 2015 ESPYS on July 15, which will also air live on ABC. Jenner will receive the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.
The announcement from ESPN arrived just hours after Vanity Fair unveiled the first images of Jenner as a woman on Monday.
“In the past few months, the overwhelming outpouring of support from all over the world for my journey has been incredible,” said Jenner. “However, being honored with this award, which is named after one of my heroes, is truly special. For the first time this July, I will be able to stand as my true self in front of my peers.”
The Arthur Ashe Courage Award is given annually to “individuals whose contributions transcend sports.”
Here’s how ESPN described its reasoning for giving the award to 65-year-old former Olympian, Jenner:
Jenner’s unyielding resolve and hard work enabled him to win a gold medal in the 1976 Olympics and break world records. He then parlayed that success into a variety of roles across different areas including television, film, auto racing and business. Although Jenner first captured the attention of the nation for his athletic prowess and determination, the same strength of character shone through this past April when he sat down with ABC’s Diane Sawyer to come out as a transgender woman.
Last year, Michael Sam, the first publicly gay player to be drafted into the NFL, received the Arthur Ashe Award. GMA host Robin Roberts was the 2013 recipient.
Arthur Ashe was a No. 1-ranked tennis player who won three grand slam tournaments. He’s believed to have contracted HIV via a blood transfusion during heart bypass surgery in the 80s. He later founded the Arthur Ashe Foundation for the Defeat of AIDS and the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health before his death in 1993.
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