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Caitlyn Jenner in tears collecting ESPY award

Caitlyn Jenner in tears collecting ESPY award

Caitlyn Jenner was in tears as she picked up the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2015 ESPYs.

The annual award show presented the former Olympic athlete - who was known as Bruce before her transition - with the accolade in a ceremony on Wednesday (15.07.15) where she urged athletes to promote a greater acceptance of transgender people.

She explained: "This transition has been harder on me than anything I could have imagined.

"And that's the case for so many others besides me. For that reason alone, trans people deserve something vital. They deserve your respect.

"And from that respect comes a more compassionate community, a more empathetic society, and a better world for all of us."

The 65-year-old star was accompanied to the ceremony by his children Kendall, Kylie, Brody, Casey, Burt and Brandon Jenner, as well as stepchildren Khloe, Kim and Kourtney Kardashian, with their estranged brother Rob being the only notable exception, and became noticeably emotional when thanking them for their support.

She said: "Here comes the tough part. I'd like to thank my family. The biggest fear I've had always in coming out is that I never wanted to hurt anyone else, most of all, my family and my kids. I always wanted my children to be so proud of their dad for what he was able to accomplish in his life.

"I'm putting myself in these high pressure situations, competing in the games, raising a family. But I've never felt more pressure than I ever have felt in my life than over the last couple of months."

Enforcing the theme of her speech which was the importance of acceptance, Caitlyn - who will star in new reality show 'I Am Cait' later this month - urged people to embrace the fact that "we're all different".

She added: "It's not just about one person, it's about thousands of people. It's not just about me. It's about all of us accepting one another. We're all different. That's not a bad thing. That's a good thing.

"And while it may not be easy to get past the things you always don't understand, I want to prove that it is absolutely possible if we only do it together."