Chicago Special Olympics athlete honored by ESPYS

Special Olympics athlete and Chicago native Tommy Shimoda received an honorary Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Award as a part of the 25th ESPYS awards. He is the only athlete from the state of Illinois to receive the award, which is presented to an individual or team for athletic achievements or performances.

Shimoda, 24, was the only athlete from Chicago to qualify for the 2017 Special Olympic World Games, where nearly 3,000 athletes competed in eight Olympic-style winter sporting events in March in Schladming, Austria. Shimoda won two medals in speed skating, including a gold medal in the 500-meter race. 

Shimoda is a resident of the Mount Greenwood neighborhood in the city of Chicago and a graduate of the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences. He competes in 20 different sports with the including basketball and softball.

ESPN announced Monday that Michelle Obama will present the Arthur Ashe Courage Award to honor the late Eunice Kennedy Shriver, who with Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke, was the driving forces behind the creation of the Special Olympics organization. The games are held year-round and include 5.3 million athletes in more than 170 countries.

Special Olympics Chicago athlete Tommy Shimoda has been awarded an honorary Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Award as a part of the ESPYS. (Maura Bruton/Special Olympics Chicago)

The 25th ESPYS will air 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 12.