If you’re not familiar with the title for this post, then this is a MUST watch for you. Heck, even if you’ve seen it, it’s a must watch and a must re-watch!
I can’t think of a better sports related moment to start off my new blog posts with than the inspiring and thought provoking speech given by Jim Valvano at the 1993 ESPY Awards. “Jimmy V” spent 19 years in head coaching positions and took North Carolina State to the National Title in 1983. Many remember Valvano running up and down the court, seemingly in disbelief and looking for someone to hug after his underdog Wolfpack team defeated top ranked Houston for the Championship. He later worked as a broadcaster for ESPN and ABC Sports and was inducted in to various Halls of Fame.
In June of 1992 he was diagnosed with cancer, an event which led him to helping and inspiring others up until his death.
In March of 1993, he spoke at the first ESPY awards hosted by ESPN. While accepting the inaugural Arthur Ashe Courage and Humanitarian Award, he announced the creation of The V Foundation for Cancer Research, who’s motto would be “Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.” The video below is the speech he gave that evening.
To truly put this in perspective, consider that this speech was given less than 8 weeks before Jimmy V lost his battle to cancer. I admire his sense of humor and ability to stay strong during such a challenging time. While so many of us get overwhelmed with life’s “difficulties,” he tells us to “keep your dreams alive, in spite of problems.” A great lesson to keep in mind. Thanks Jimmy V.