A sport is "a contest or a game in which people do certain physical activities according to a specific set of rules and compete against each other." This is the definition that has been engraved as the meaning behind the word "sport" for years. After June 1, that definition changed.
The ESPY Awards, short for the "Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Awards", will air on July 15th on ABC. As the weeks begin to grow closer to that date, ESPN announced that the 2015 Arthur Ashe Award, given to individuals whose contributions "transcend sports" will be awarded to Caitlyn Jenner.
To compete in a sport, someone must do some sort of physical activity. Jenner achieved that at the 1976 Summer Olympics winning the gold medal in the men's decathlon, setting a world record, and becoming "the world's greatest athlete."
After being named the Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year in 1976 and being inducted into the Olympic Hall of Fame in 1986, Jenner enjoyed a post olympic life career diving into the world of television, film and business. Besides being an avid golfer, Jenner said her goodbye to the sport that made her famous for more than two decades.
She has however, gone on to become a motivational speaker, giving back to the people who made him famous in a different kind of way, like many athletes chose to do after retirement. Noah Galloway, for example, became a distance runner and competed in Dancing with the Stars as a double amputee veteran. The late Lauren Hill, a teenage athlete who raised $1.5 million to fight cancer, is another great example.. They transcended sports by going beyond the physical aspect. It is not justifiable to say Caitlyn Henner has not done the same.
Caitlyn Jenner transcended sports the moment she decided to share her story with the world, and after keeping it a secret as a star of the reality series, Keeping Up With the Kardashians for eight years, deciding to share her transitional journey with the world also.
Sure -- we all have secrets. Sometimes we can't choose whether or not our secrets our told. Most of the time we do, though. And while Jenner was never lying to the world, telling the world her truth is the reason why she is being awarded the Arthur Ashe Award for courage.
Becoming a woman doesn't erase the accolades you earned before your transition. A body might change and a name might go along with the change also, but the person inside is still the same.
It's not the body that wins a sport -- it's the person.
Jenner's transition journey is one to talk about. But using it as a reason for not being awarded the Arthur Ashe Award isn't. Whether you agree with her decision or not, her actions have spoken for themselves.
Courage is known as "strength in the face of pain or grief." Jenner isn't an amputee or a cancer survivor. But pain is not just a physical emotion.
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