Over the years, the ESPY Awards haven't been without moments of inspiration, as countless athletes have recalled their hard-fought journeys to excellence. But Wednesday's ceremony featured a presentation that topped them all when a high school football coach was given the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance.
The award's recipient, 31-year-old Rob Mendez, was born without arms or legs. Despite his handicap, Mendez learned football by playing the John Madden video game, talked his way into becoming the manager of his high school team and rose through the ranks to become the junior varsity coach at Prospect High School in Saratoga, California.
"If there’s any message I want to give you guys tonight, it’s to look at me and see how much passion I put into coaching and how far it’s gotten me," Mendez told the audience. "When you dedicate yourself to something and open your mind to different possibilities and focus on what you can do instead of what you can’t do, you really can go places in this world."
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