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Thursday 8 December 2016

'This transition has been harder on me than anything I can imagine' - Caitlyn Jenner wins courage award

Caitlyn Jenner accepts the Arthur Ashe award for courage at the ESPY Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Wednesday, July 15, 2015, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Caitlyn Jenner accepts the Arthur Ashe award for courage at the ESPY Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Wednesday, July 15, 2015, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Britney Spears, left, and NFL player J.J. Watt, of the Houston Texans, present the best female athlete award at the ESPY Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Wednesday, July 15, 2015, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Kendall Jenner, left, and Kylie Jenner arrive at the ESPY Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Wednesday, July 15, 2015, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
Melanie Brown "Mel B," right, and Stephen Belafonte, background, arrive at the ESPY Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Wednesday, July 15, 2015, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
Kylie Jenner arrives at the ESPY Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Wednesday, July 15, 2015, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Paul A. Hebert/Invision/AP)
Kylie Jenner arrives for the 2015 ESPY Awards in Los Angeles, California July 15, 2015. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
NFL football quarterback Aaron Rodgers arrives for the 2015 ESPY Awards in Los Angeles, California July 15, 2015. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
WTA tennis player Caroline Wozniacki arrives for the 2015 ESPY Awards in Los Angeles, California July 15, 2015. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
Little league baseball pitcher Mo'ne Davis arrives for the 2015 ESPY Awards in Los Angeles, California July 15, 2015. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
Thoroughbred horse racing trainer Bob Baffert and wife Jill arrive for the 2015 ESPY Awards in Los Angeles, California July 15, 2015. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
Jockey Victor Espinoza arrives for the 2015 ESPY Awards in Los Angeles, California July 15, 2015. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
U.S. Women's National Soccer team player Alex Morgan arrives for the 2015 ESPY Awards in Los Angeles, California July 15, 2015. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
U.S. Women's National Team soccer players arrive for the 2015 ESPY Awards in Los Angeles, California July 15, 2015. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
Actress Candis Cayne arrives for the 2015 ESPY Awards in support of Caitlyn Jenner, who is this year's Arthur Ashe Courage Award recipient in Los Angeles, California July 15, 2015. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
Boxer Evander Holyfield arrives for the 2015 ESPY Awards in Los Angeles, California July 15, 2015. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
NFL football quarterback Russell Wilson (L) and singer Ciara arrive for the 2015 ESPY Awards in Los Angeles, California July 15, 2015. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
Former NFL quarterback Brett Favre arrives for the 2015 ESPY Awards in Los Angeles, California July 15, 2015. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
NFL football player Rob Gronkowski poses with his mother Diane as they arrive for the 2015 ESPY Awards in Los Angeles, California July 15, 2015. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
Kendall Jenner (L) and Kylie Jenner (R) arrive for the 2015 ESPY Awards in Los Angeles, California July 15, 2015. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
Actress Halle Berry arrives for the 2015 ESPY Awards in Los Angeles, California July 15, 2015. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
Singer Britney Spears arrives for the 2015 ESPY Awards in Los Angeles, California July 15, 2015. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
Actor Jake Gyllenhaal (L) and actress Rachel McAdams arrive for the 2015 ESPY Awards in Los Angeles, California July 15, 2015. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
Singer Britney Spears arrives for the 2015 ESPY Awards in Los Angeles, California July 15, 2015. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
Television journalist Diane Sawyer arrives for the 2015 ESPY Awards in Los Angeles, California July 15, 2015. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
U.S. Women's National Team soccer goalkeeper Hope Solo and former NFL football player Jerramy Stevens (rear R) arrive for the 2015 ESPY Awards in Los Angeles, California July 15, 2015. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
Melanie Brown "Mel B," left, and Stephen Belafonte arrive at the ESPY Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Wednesday, July 15, 2015, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
Former MLB baseball player Derek Jeter (R) and model Hannah Davis (L) arrive for the 2015 ESPY Awards in Los Angeles, California July 15, 2015. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok

Accepting an award for courage last night Caitlyn Jenner urged acceptance for others who are transgender.

She received a standing ovation from some of the sporting world's biggest stars at the Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly (ESPYs) Awards after her 10-minute speech. The awards honour the year's top athletes and moments.

"This transition has been harder on me than anything I can imagine," said Jenner.

Noting her powerful celebrity platform, the 1976 Olympic decathlon champion and current reality TV star vowed "to do whatever I can to reshape the landscape of how transgender people are viewed and treated".

Jenner's voice broke as she thanked members of her famous family, including stepdaughters Kim and Khloe Kardashian.

Tears welled in the eyes of Jenner's other daughters, Kylie and Kendall, as she spoke.

"I never wanted to hurt anyone else, most of all my family and my kids," said Jenner.

She urged the crowd that included American football, basketball, baseball and hockey superstars to remember what they say and do is "absorbed and observed by millions of people, especially young people".

A video narrated by Mad Men actor Jon Hamm traced Jenner's life from the time when she was known as Bruce Jenner to her current transition. She mentioned she once considered ending her own life.

She was shown applying makeup, buttoning her blouse in her closet and fastening the strap on her heeled shoes.

With her trembling hands clasped in front of her, Jenner joked with the audience about her struggle to select the cream gown she wore.

"OK girls, I get it," she said, as the audience laughed. "You've got to get the shoes, the hair, the makeup, it was exhausting. And the fashion police, please be kind on me. I'm new at this."

Jenner didn't walk the red carpet outside the Microsoft Theatre in downtown Los Angeles, and she didn't appear backstage to talk with reporters, as most of the previous Ashe award recipients have done. ESPN said Jenner wanted her onstage comments to stand.

Reaction among Jenner's sporting peers on the red carpet was mixed.

Little League baseball pitcher Mo'ne Davis called Jenner "brave".

"She's really brave to have the courage to get through a lot of those things," said the 14-year-old who won best breakthrough athlete.

Former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield said: "I just know that's Bruce Jenner and I'll leave it at that."

Jenner's new TV series called I Am Cait airs on July 26.

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