Former Olympian Bruce Jenner, now known as Caitlyn Jenner, accepted the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYS on July 15.
Caitlyn Jenner received a standing ovation from some of the sporting world’s biggest stars after her 10-minute speech during the annual awards honoring the year’s top athletes and moments.
She also urged acceptance for others who are transgender.
“This transition has been harder on me than anything I can imagine,” said Caitlyn Jenner.
Abby Wambach of the US soccer team that won the Women’s World Cup presented the trophy to Caitlyn Jenner, whose voice broke as she thanked members of her famous family, including stepdaughters Kim and Khloe Kardashian. Tears welled in the eyes of Caitlyn Jenner’s younger daughter, Kylie, whose sister, Kendall, wiped a tear from her eye.
“I never wanted to hurt anyone else, most of all my family and my kids,” said Caitlyn Jenner, who admitted that until earlier this year she had never met another transgender person.
Caitlyn Jenner urged the crowd that included football, basketball, baseball and hockey players to remember what they say and do is “absorbed and observed by millions of people, especially young people”.
A video traced Caitlyn Jenner’s life from the time when she was known as Bruce Jenner to her current transition. She was shown applying makeup, buttoning her blouse in her closet and fastening the strap on her heeled shoes.
Caitlyn Jenner didn’t walk the red carpet outside the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles, and she didn’t appear backstage to talk with reporters, as most of the previous Ashe award recipients have done.