Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Gifts People’s Champion Award To Make-A-Wish Recipient: ‘She Has Fought Literally For Her Life’

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson won the People’s Champion Award at the 2021 People’s Choice Awards on Tuesday but decided to gift it to someone who inspired him.

Before Johnson gifted his award to a very special someone, he was first introduced by surprise presenter, Jeff Bezos.

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“His achievements are legend. His work ethic is unparalleled. He transcends all demographics. He is impossible not to like and he can sure put down a lot of pancakes,” Bezos shared.

“But even with all that, the thing that really stands out the most? He’s kind. … You see, kindness is a choice. And what I admire most in Dwayne is his choice to show unwavering kindness to everyone around him.”

“I want to thank my good friend Jeff, my drinking buddy,” The Rock replied, before sharing with the audience about when he met boxing legend Muhammad Ali, who was also known as “the people’s champ.”

Johnson recalled his last meeting with Ali at an event for the Make-a-Wish Foundation. He then went on to surprise a teen girl who was in the audience as a Make-a-Wish recipient.

“I met her earlier. I told her how inspired I was by her story. She is a survivor. She has fought literally for her life,” he said. “She has inspired her family, her friends, now you guys here, now the world that is watching.”

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“I didn’t expect it at all,” the teen exclaimed while joining him on stage. “This is crazy. Thank you so much to you and to Make-a-Wish.”

Johnson then insisted he give her the reward saying, “you represent everything that it means to be a people’s champion.”

But before he left the stage, Johnson shared the first words he first heard from Ali. “Service to others is the rent you pay for the room you have here on earth.” He then added, “It’s nice to be important but it’s more important to be nice.”

“Dwayne is one of the most beloved actors of our time who has achieved unprecedented success throughout his career,” said Jen Neal, EVP, Entertainment Live Events, Specials & E! News, NBCUniversal Entertainment Television and Streaming, told Deadline in a statement announcing this year’s honorees.

“During a period where there has been a lot of uncertainty, Johnson has displayed an uncanny ability to raise spirits and make people smile despite circumstances,” the statement continued. “His philanthropic efforts and international social media presence has made him a cultural leader and inspiration to many, making him the perfect recipient for ‘The People’s Champion’ award this year.”

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