Athlete of the Year
What is “Athlete of the Year?”
Start with 2000+ Lifters
You have 130+ Nominees
You then end up with about 60-70 Runners-up
You then have about 45 Winners
You then have a Male and a Female Athlete of the Year in PL, PS and BP Only (6 winners)
You then have ONE (1) Over-All NASA Athlete of the Year.
The thing that makes these award so good for the Lifter is that it doesn’t take a World Champion lifter to win the Over-All Lifter Award, although at times have a winner that meets that criteria.
The things that stick out when you look at the long list of NASA Athlete’s of the Year are:
* Skill as an Athlete, a Winner!
* Loyalty to the Organization that is bestowing this award.
* Dedication to an Organization that Promotes and Maintains a Truly drug tested organization.
* An Athlete that consistently puts other’s welfare ahead of their own.
* A lifter that is a promoter of NASA’s principles as a lifter or meet director or both.
* A lifter that has the Respect and Admiration of NASA’s Athlete’s and Leadership.
* A lifter that will put his fellow lifter’s needs above his own.
The easiest part of these Awards is finding the great lifters. Finding the lifters with all the other attributes starts years before the winner actually wins this award.
NASA is full of great lifters and that can be easily documented on paper. When looking for the really “stand up” people, our Nominating committee must search their memory and do some research on each and every lifter that is nominated.
As an example, I will use Mike Ewoldsen. He was a fantastic lifter, still is. But when it came to the other attributes he stuck out in everyone’s mind. He was always there to help, he was loyal to NASA, he supported NASA’s Leadership (while not always agreeing, he still supported our decisions), he was always there for the lifters and supported them in any way he could. He was/is a Referee, Meet Assistant, a leader, a friend. He also set an example for others to follow. He won easily!!! And he continues to win as does NASA and it’s lifters.
There have been many, many fine athlete’s in NASA over the years. But many were satisfied with coming to the meets, doing their thing and leaving immediately afterwards. Mike was at the meet before the meet started, worked while there, lifted very well and was there after the meet was over. No-one ever asked him to do any of this. I can remember loading and unloading the meet trailer many, many times when it was only myself and Mike. That sticks in a person’s mind. Especially when many lifters head to the door as soon as they get their awards. Sometimes it looks like a herd of those Sea Turtles heading out to sea…but not Mike. This went on for years. Mike had some very lean years also. I remember one year at the Natural Nationals mike actually bombed out. As soon as he did, he didn’t throw a fit, put on a show or have a tantrum. He simply got on his sweats and started loading the bar for his fellow lifters and proceeded to make the meet the best he could for the other lifters. And he was there the next day to do the same and even stay and help load the trailer. Talk about Class!!! Talk about a leader! Talk about a Role Model! And he still helps tremendously with the meets, years after he won this Award. He doesn’t expect special treatment, but he gives and his giving is Special to others.