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Courage and perseverance are the two words that defined the biggest moments on the stage of the 2014 ESPY Awards Wednesday night.

ESPN vet and SportsCenter anchor Stuart Scott was honored with the 2014 Jimmy V Perseverance Award for his tireless battle against a rare form of cancer he was diagnosed with back in 2007. Scott took the stage after being presented with the award, and had one of the best heart-to-hearts with an audience you’ve probably ever seen. 

Scott talked about how difficult it is to suffer with a disease like cancer, and its toll on family. The ESPN vet even revealed that before the show, he underwent four surgeries over seven days, not even knowing if he would make it through. But with the help of medical staff, family, and friends, he was able to attend the award ceremony.

It’s no secret that Scott lives an unusually active and busy lifestyle for someone diagnosed with cancer, but he says it’s not something he lets determine his lifestyle.

“When you die, that does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you lived, why you lived and in the manner in which you lived,” Scott said. “So live. Live. Fight like hell. And when you get too tired to fight, then lay down and rest and let somebody else fight for you.”

Scott’s final words on his mantra of never giving up and his love for his supportive family received a standing ovation from the crowd, and was a definite tearjerker.

Earlier that night, the ESPYs also honored St. Louis Rams defensive end draftee Michael Sam with the 2014 Arthur Ashe Courage Award. Sam delivered an emotional speech about his struggle with his sexuality, and coming out as the first openly gay player in the NFL.

“This year I had a lot of experience being part of something bigger than myself,” Sam said. “At times, I’ve felt like I’ve been living in a massive storm, without knowing when the storm will end. But I’m here tonight to tell you that the lessons I learned about love, respect, being true to yourself will never leave me.”

Sam, choked by emotion at times, delivered a speech on his love for the game of football, and how Ashe’s courage inspired him as an athlete. Humbled by receiving the award, Sam thanked his friends, family, coaches, and teammates for their support and left giving these words of advice:

“To anyone out there — especially young people — feeling like they don’t fit in and will never be accepted, please know this: …Great things can happen when you have the courage to be yourself.”

If you weren’t able to catch Sam’s emotional speech from Wednesday night’s show, you can check it out below.

SOURCE: HuffPost | VIDEO: YouTube

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