Former first lady Michelle Obama will honor late Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver at the 2017 ESPY Awards on Wednesday in Los Angeles, ESPN announced.
"Eunice Kennedy Shriver was a passionate champion for those with developmental challenges, empowering them to fulfill their highest potential," Obama said in a statement. "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."
Kennedy Shriver, who died in 2009, was the sister of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy and Ted Kennedy. She founded the Special Olympics in 1968.
Obama will be presenting Shriver with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, which will be given to her son, Timothy Shriver.
"My mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, was a visionary, but, more importantly, a revolutionary," Shriver said when the award was announced. "Fueled by love and anger, she used sport to break down the barriers, she used fields of play to bring people together, and she opened the doors of inclusion and equality to the most marginalized on Earth. It is now up to all of us to follow the athletes of Special Olympics who can teach us all to accept and include each other."
Kennedy Shriver's Special Olympics organization began as Camp Shriver in 1962 and was borne out of her bond with her sister, Rosemary, who was mentally disabled. The Special Olympics now has more than 5.3 million athletes worldwide.
Kennedy Shriver will be the ninth posthumous recipient of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award and second consecutive. Zaevion Dobson, a former high school football player who died after saving two girls from gunfire, was the recipient in 2016.