The Very First Over-All Athlete of the Year1990 – Darryl Johnson – AR
What is the NASA “Over-All Athlete of the Year” and what are the responsibilities and duties of the winners of this award.
(These rules are ONLY for the Over All Athlete of the Year winners who receive this award. By accepting this award winners are bound by these rules. All other lifters are governed by the NASA Rule Book.)
The first thing to remember is that the Over-All Athlete of the Year is a Lifetime Achievement Award and is continuous and these rules do not lapse once the award has been accepted by the lifter as NASA continues to promote and endorse these winners. This award is NASA’s highest award and should be treated as such. It isn’t won by anyone who hasn’t been a dedicated NASA drug free lifter, a loyal NASA lifter who supports all NASA events especially in his/her home State, the organization and it’s leadership. When a lifter lifts in or supports a non-tested event not sponsored by NASA they virtually eliminate themselves from winning this award for a minimum of 5 years. After all, this is a NASA Award, our highest award. The winner is not chosen in a popularity contest. It’s based on lifting performance, dedication and hard work which wins this award. All work is done strictly as a volunteer. We have been disappointed in a very few winners of the past but we have learned from those mistakes. What many lifters forget is that to win this award the winner must be a great lifter in his/her own right, be loyal to the organization, volunteer their time promoting NASA, help other NASA Lifters and assist in at all meets they attend in some way as a volunteer so others may enjoy the same benefits of NASA that they themselves have enjoyed over the years. It’s not about ME when it comes to winning this award, it’s more about WE! This is the line that separates the winners from those who never win this award. Any lifter can attend meets, lift, stand around and talk and then go home. This award rewards those who show up early as volunteers who may, lift, help other lifters and who leaves late all in an effort to insure that the meets are successful for everyone, not just themselves. Lifters who “keep score” of their volunteer work and expect special treatment because of this volunteer work have no place in this selection process. Public Service and doing for others has great bearing on who wins this award. Self image and how others perceive your actions or non-actions speaks volumes when it comes to winning and maintaining this award.
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!
* Continued Loyalty to the Organization that is bestowing this award (NASA).
* Dedication to the Organization (NASA) that Promotes and Maintains a Truly drug tested organization.
* An Athlete that consistently puts other’s welfare ahead of their own.
* A lifter who is a promoter of NASA’s principles as a lifter, meet director and/or volunteer.
* A lifter that has the Respect and Admiration of NASA’s Athlete’s and Leadership.
* A lifter that will put his fellow NASA lifter’s needs above his own.
Winners of this award are ambassadors for NASA Powerlifting. In return AOTY winners typically receive 1 Free Entry in any NASA meet they choose, Free Lifetime NASA Membership plus constant publicity and attention. Many choose to support the organization by paying their own entry fees so as to donate back to those who may not be financially capable of lifting. As long as these winners remain loyal to NASA and practice these principles and adhere to these rules they may continue to receive these benefits. Winners who discredit NASA, our lifters and our leadership may be removed at any time although this rarely happens and only in extreme circumstances, i.e. they choose to quit NASA or violate the principles and rules which were used in their selection as OAOY. Forfeiture of this award can be caused by the lifter supporting any non-NASA organization, lifting in and supporting non-tested events or organizations, misconduct and/or bringing disrespect to NASA as an Organization, the leadership, drug test failure or any kind, unethical conduct, etc. All OAOY winners MUST continually adhere and obey ALL NASA Rules as laid out here and in the NASA Rule Book.
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.