It seems that every time Michelle Obama steps back into the spotlight, she gets an automatic standing ovation. The former First Lady proved this once more last night when she made an appearance at the ESPYs to honor the late Eunice Kennedy Shriver—the founder of the Special Olympics, who died in 2009—with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.
Obama, wearing a black Cushnie et Ochs dress, was greeted with cheers from the crowd, and spoke to honor Shriver—John F. Kennedy’s sister and Maria Shriver’s mother—for her mission to ensure opportunity for everyone, regardless of their background or challenges.
“I am here tonight to honor a remarkable woman,” she said. “A woman who believed everyone has something to contribute and everyone deserves to push themselves to find out what they’re made of and to compete and win. She knew that when we give others a chance to fulfill our greatest potential, we all win.”
Shriver’s son Timothy, now the chairman of the Special Olympics, accepted the award on her behalf.
This is Obama’s second awards-show appearance of the year. Her first surprise visit (via video) was to the B.E.T. Awards to honor Chance the Rapper for his service to the youth of the Chicago community.
“With these passionate efforts, Chance is showing our young people that they matter, that they have something inside of them that is worthy of being expressed, and they have so much to contribute to their community and our country,” she said of the rapper.
Though her post-White House appearances haven’t been specifically pointed at the current administration—remember, they go low, we go high, etc.—there at least seems to be some counter-programming happening. After all, Obama posted pictures of a workout the day members of the Trump administration were caught fat-shaming Sean Spicer, and her support of Shriver and the Special Olympics is, at least, some kind of karmic balance to a president who made fun of a reporter with a disability.
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