With the 22nd annual ESPY Awards once again this week, expect some sort of a meaningful speech.

It all started in 1993 when the first ESPY awards were handed out with one person -- and one award, living on forever.

College basketball coach Jim Valvano was recently diagnosed with metastatic adenocarcinoma cancer in June of 1992 and was awarded the inaugural Arthur Ashe Courage and Humanitarian Award.

Upon receiving that award, Valvano took to the podium and delivered one of the most heart-wrenching and tear-jerking speeches sports have ever seen.

"Cancer can take away all of my physical abilities. It cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my heart, and it cannot touch my soul. And those three things are going to carry on forever. I thank you and God bless you all," Valvano closed with.

Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski and others rushed to help Valvano off of the stage as he appeared too weak to do so by himself.

The speech occurred in March 1993, Valvano passed away the next month on April 28 at age 47.

His speech lives on forever, however, as well as the The Jimmy V Foundation which was started by ESPN in his honor immediately following that speech. It has funded more than $130 million in cancer research grants nationwide.

 

--PG