Michelle Obama earns loud ovation from athletes at The ESPYS

Michelle Obama earns loud ovation from athletes at The ESPYS

Michelle Obama earns loud ovation from athletes at The ESPYS

While many celebrities graced the stage to present and receive awards for their outstanding contributions to athletic achievement, former first lady Michelle Obama was arguably the star of the show. The former first lady gave the award to Shriver's son, Tim, who accepted the trophy on his mother's behalf.

"She wanted to be known as a great hero of sports, and tonight she got it", Timothy, who now chairs the Special Olympics, said of his late mother during his acceptance speech.

She called Shriver a woman who believed 'everyone deserves a chance to push themselves and find out what they're made of'.

Shriver then acknowledged that he and his family wished that his mother could be there to accept the award on her own and said that she was, in a way. So almost 50 years ago, she created the Special Olympics, and over the course of her life she turned that visionary idea into a worldwide movement with competitions across the globe'.

Michelle was joined on stage by athletes from the Special Olympics as they honored the organizations founder for her lifelong commitment to children and adults living with intellectual disabilities. Shriver-sister of John F. Kennedy-founded the Special Olympics in 1968, which she grew from a summer camp at her home into an worldwide event.

"Once a great first lady, still a great first lady", he said.

"Special Olympics athletes are not a cause".

Shriver died in 2009 after seeing the Special Olympics reach more than 100 countries.

At the time Shriver started the Special Olympics, people with those kinds of disabilities were shunned and forced to live in institutions.

When silence did eventually fall she explained: 'I am here tonight to honour a remarkable woman'.

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