Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts‘ bravery in the face of immense adversity is earning her accolades from the sports world – where she began her impressive television career three decades ago.
After breaking ground as one of the first female sports anchors on ESPN in the 1990s, Roberts will be honored with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2013 ESPYS on July 17 in respect for not only trailblazing the way for women in television, but also in recognition of her battle against two life-threatening illnesses.
The former Southeastern Louisiana Lady Lions player was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2012, and now her 30 year career in broadcasting that began as a sports radio anchor in college will be celebrated by the network that launched her into the national spotlight as a play-by-play announcer for sports such as tennis, figure skating, and as the first woman to host an NFL pre-game show.
Having beaten breast cancer in 2007, Roberts broke the devastating news last year that she had been diagnosed with a rare blood disorder, MDS (myelodysplastic syndrome), and would be taking leave from GMA to receive a bone marrow transplant from her sister, Sally-Ann Roberts.
Miraculously, the 52-year-old returned to her seat at the anchor desk on February 20, just five months to the day after the operation.
“Robin brings an amazing amount of energy, compassion and determination to everything she does. Those qualities made her an incredible asset during her time here at ESPN, and they have served her well as she battled the terrible health challenges that she’s had to face,” said ESPN president John Skipper in a statement to RadarOnline.com on Tuesday.
“Robin’s accomplishments in so many areas – as an athlete, a broadcaster, a cancer survivor and more – demonstrate her ability to shine regardless of adversity and we could not be more proud to honor her as the recipient of this year’s Arthur Ashe Courage Award.”