While watching this year's ESPY awards, I was reminded of Jimmy Valvano's (nicknamed Jimmy V) legendary speech at the inaugural ESPY Awards on March 3, 1993. Valvano was diagnosed with bone cancer in June 1992. In July, he found out that it had metastasized.
At the 1993 awards show, while accepting the inaugural Arthur Ashe Courage and Humanitarian Award, Valvano announced the creation of the "Jimmy V Foundation", an organization dedicated to finding a cure for cancer. He announced that the foundation's motto would be "Don't give up. Don't ever give up."
In his speech, Valvano said,
"To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. And number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day. That's a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you're going to have something special."
At one point, the teleprompter informed Valvano he had 30 seconds left, to which he said, "They got that screen up there flashing 30 seconds, like I care about that screen. I got tumors all over my body and I'm worried about some guy in the back going 30 seconds."
He received a standing ovation from the crowd. Valvano died less than two months after his famous ESPY speech.
If you haven't seen it or haven't seen it in a while, set aside 10 minutes and watch it - you will be happy you did.
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