The ESPY’s awards show was created to honor the world’s top athletes, but at Wednesday night’s show, another man stole the show.
Longtime ESPN SportsCenter Anchor Stuart Scott received the Jimmy V Perseverance Award at Wednesday’s event for his long battle with cancer. The award is in memory of coach Jim Valvano, who was diagnosed with cancer in 1992 and gave a memorable speech at the first ever ESPY Awards in 1993.
“Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up,” Valvano said during the speech. The words resonate to this day — seven simple words used as inspiration for more than two decades.
Scott, like Valvano, was diagnosed with cancer in 2007 after an emergency appendectomy revealed some malignant growth. He’s battled the disease since.
A short feature played before he was presented with the award detailing his battle with the disease, including several attempts to enroll in a clinical trial treatment. During his speech, he thanked everyone and made clear his intention to follow in Valvano’s footsteps. The crowd was visibly moved.
“To be honored with this, I now have a responsibility to also not ever give up. I’m not special, I just listened to what the man said,” Scott said.
Check out the whole video below. You won’t see anything more moving today: