Robin Roberts (II) was one of the honorees at this year's Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Awards. The former ESPN anchor struggled to hold back her tears when thanking fans, family and friends for their tremendous support and love while she was facing a tough time dealing with cancer and recently a life-threatening blood disease.
She credited them for "helping me deliver my message of hope and to be the example of this too shall pass." "My family and dear friends, their unconditional love brings me to tears," she added while choking back tears. "My big sister Sally-Ann [who became her stem cell donor], my daughter, I wouldn't be standing here. Heck, I wouldn't be standing anywhere, if it were not for you and I thank you for that."
Roberts was presented with Arthur Ashe Award for Courage by LeBron James, who won Best Male Athlete himself that night. First Lady Michelle Obama offered her congratulations via video message during the July 17 ceremony at L.A.'s Nokia Theater, while actor Tom Cruise narrated a montage about the "Good Morning America" presenter's career on television.
"Robin has inspired all of us with her courage and tenacity as she overcame a life-threatening illness not once, but twice," said Ms. Obama. "And she has also touched so many of us with her warmth and her compassion. See, the beautiful thing about Robin is, that she treats everyone she meets with such deep respect and kindness, from her producers to her crew to people like me, even more on the other side of her tough questions. Robin, congratulations, I can't think of anyone more deserving of this award, love you much."
"At this moment I am filled with such gratitude," Roberts humbly said. "Thanks to Mrs. Obama for her warm words and to LeBron for graciously adding to this honor. My mama was from Akron, Ohio, and she loved her some King James and she's smiling down on us right now."
"I wanted to be a pro athlete, but there's something called ability that you must have," she at one point joked about how she ended up being a sports journalist and later a TV presenter. On a serious note, she said, "I'm in awe of your vast accomplishments tonight." She concluded, "I have my sister's DNA, but you will always have my heart."
Full winner list of 2013 ESPYs: