Former Olympian Bruce Jenner's journey to becoming Caitlyn has made international headlines, and now, the brave athlete and reality star is set to receive a prestigious honor from her peers in recognition of that transition.
ESPN announced Monday that Jenner would be the recipient of the 2015 Arthur Ashe Courage Award at this year's ESPYS, and the annual sports world awards show hosted by the network. The Arthur Ashe Award is bestowed upon "individuals whose contributions transcend sports," per a press release, which compared Jenner's triumph at the 1976 Olympics to "the same strength of character [that] shone through this past April when he sat down with ABC's Diane Sawyer to come out as a transgender woman."
"Bruce has received many accolades over the years for being one of the greatest Olympians of our time, but The ESPYS are honored to celebrate Bruce becoming Caitlyn," said executive producer Maura Mandt in a statement. "She has shown the courage to embrace a truth that had been hidden for years, and to embark on a journey that may not only give comfort to those facing similar circumstances, but can also help to educate people on the challenges that the transgender community faces."
In a statement, Jenner noted that since the Sawyer interview aired, "the overwhelming outpouring of support from all over the world for my journey has been incredible."
"However, being honored with this award, which is named after one of my heroes, is truly special," she continued. "For the first time this July, I will be able to stand as my true self in front of my peers."
The ESPYS are slated to air on July 15 at 8 p.m. on ABC.
Photo credit: Annie Leibovitz/Vanity Fair