Kyiv Mayor And Boxer Vitali Klitschko Wins ESPY's Arthur Ashe Award For Courage

Actor Dwayne Johnson accepted the honor on Klitschko's behalf and called him a "hero" to the world.

The ESPY Awards honored Vitali Klitschko, mayor of Kyiv and an International Boxing Hall of Fame member, for his courageousness on Wednesday.

The sports award show named the Ukrainian mayor this year’s recipient of the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage, described as an award meant for someone who shows “strength in the face of adversity, courage in the face of peril and the willingness to stand up for their beliefs no matter what the cost,” ESPN said.

Klitschko, Kyiv’s longest-serving mayor and multiple-time world heavyweight champion along with his brother Wladimir, is a vocal Vladimir Putin critic and has defended Ukraine along with his brother while in Kyiv.

The boxer had never been knocked out in his career and “rarely” lost a round, according to ESPN.

Actor Dwayne Johnson accepted the honor on Klitschko’s behalf and, according to people, remarked that he is “a man who will tell you very plainly, that sports is part of the reason he is where he is.”

“Vitali is a hero, who has shown the world what courage truly looks like.”

Past recipients of the award have included Nelson Mandela, Muhammad Ali, Billie Jean King and Jim Valvano.

Klitschko, in a video speech shared on Twitter, quoted Mandela who once said “sport has the power to change the world.”

You can watch Klitschko’s full speech regarding the award below.

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