Former first lady Michelle Obama was greeted by a standing ovation Wednesday night when she made a surprise appearance at the Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Award (ESPY) awards ceremony at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California.

She honored Special Olympics' late founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, which was received by her son Timothy Shriver.

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"I am here tonight to honor a remarkable woman. A woman who believed everyone has something to contribute and everyone deserves to push themselves to find out what they’re made of and to compete and win," Michelle said, while honoring Shriver.

"She knew that when we give others a chance to fulfill our greatest potential, we all win," she continued.

Shriver, who died in 2009, is former President John F. Kennedy's sister. Her son Timothy currently serves as the chairman of the Special Olympics. Timothy accepted the silver trophy from the former first lady and said: "Once a great first lady, still a great first lady." In a video posted on a YouTube channel, an excited crowd could be seen cheering for Michelle.

As Timothy took the award, he was joined by several other special Olympians. He urged better work needed to be done in order to acquire and guarantee equality toward individuals with intellectual disabilities.

"Our mother would have loved you," he said referring to Michelle. "She would have loved your forthrightness, your honesty, your toughness, your commitment also to get everybody on the playing field. She would have been so honored that you are here for her tonight as we all are," he added, according to ABC News.

Michelle left the stage after hugging one of the female athletes on stage. After her husband — former President Barack Obama — left the office in January, Michelle has rarely made public appearances. Wednesday’s award show was her second award show appearance in the last one month, after she honored Chance the Rapper at the BET Awards for his humanitarian work in June. 

Michelle donned a form-fitting black dress with long sleeves, asymmetrical neckline and attractive cut outs to the award ceremony. According to Women's Wear Daily (WWD), her dress was designed by Cushnie et Ochs. The former first lady matched it with shiny black shoes and wore a statement earring by jewelry designer Jennifer Fisher. To complete the look , she wore smokey eye makeup.

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The ESPY Award ceremony, held every year, is currently presented by the ABC network. The award ceremony recognizes individual and team athletic achievement along with other sports-related performance during the calendar year. The event was previously presented by the ESPN and the first ESPYs were awarded in 1993. Similar to the Grammy (for music), Tony (for theater), Emmy (for television) and Academy Award (for films), this award ceremony is also hosted by celebrities.

The 25th edition of the award this year was hosted by former American football quarterback Peyton Manning, who played in the National Football League for 18 years. In 2016, the awards was hosted by WWE star John Cena.