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Peter Westbrook Foundation to Receive Rings of Gold Award

09/20/2011, 10:30am CDT
By No Author

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) - The Peter Westbrook Foundation will be honored with the Rings of Gold Award on Saturday during the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Assembly in Colorado Springs.

During the annual three-day gathering of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic family, the USOC will present four of its annual awards, including the Jack Kelly Fair Play Award, presented by BP; the Olympic Torch Award; and Rings of Gold awards for both an individual and program.

The 2011 award recipients:

  • Rings of Gold Award (program) - Peter Westbrook Foundation (New York, N.Y.)
  • Rings of Gold Award (individual) - Wendy Hilliard (New York, N.Y.)
  • Jack Kelly Fair Play Award, presented by BP - Jenna Huff (New London, N.C.)
  • Olympic Torch Award - Christy Halbert (Nashville, Tenn.)

Both the Olympic Torch Award and Jack Kelly Fair Play Award will be presented during the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Assembly Awards Dinner on Friday while the Rings of Gold awards will be handed out at an awards lunch on Saturday.

RINGS OF GOLD AWARDS
The Rings of Gold awards - inaugurated in 1996 - annually recognize an individual and a program dedicated to helping children develop their Olympic or Paralympic dreams and reach their highest athletic and personal potential.

Peter Westbrook Foundation
The Peter Westbrook Foundation is a non-profit organization founded by six-time time U.S. Olympian Peter Westbrook. The mission of PWF is to enrich the lives of children through the Olympic sport of fencing.

Since the foundation's inception in 1991, over 2,000 kids have partici­pated in the program, most of whom are minorities who reside in low-income neighborhoods and are from single-parent households in the New York City metropolitan region.

In 1996, the foundation launched the Academic Enrichment Program in order to provide PWF students with academic support, mentoring and test preparation; and, in 2009, PWF opened its tutorial center, where students can meet with their tutors immediately after the program. Members of PWF's Elite Fencing Squad have qualified for three Olym­pic Teams, many senior and junior world teams, and have attended and graduated from some of the top universities in the U.S.

JACK KELLY FAIR PLAY AWARD, PRESENTED BY BP
The Jack Kelly Fair Play Award was established in 1985 to honor the late U.S. Olympic Committee President John B. (Jack) Kelly Jr. The award is presented to an athlete, coach or official in recognition of an outstanding act of fair play and sportsmanship displayed during the past year.
Notable past recipients: Michele Akers (1999), Lance Armstrong (1998), Jackie Joyner-Kersee (1997)

Wendy Hilliard
Wendy Hilliard, a nine-time rhythmic gymnastics national team member, established the Wendy Hilliard Foundation in 1996. Since that time, the organization has provided free gymnastics - including classes, summer programs, competitive teams and clinics - to over 10,000 inner-city youth in New York City.

In addition to developing successful athletes, the foundation also helps kids become better citizens, with many achieving success in other walks of life. In addition, Hilliard's leadership has also led to the development of sports facilities that serve youth and their communi­ties. In 2006, the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame member designed and opened a 15,000 square foot gymnastics center for Aviator Sports and Recreation in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Hilliard also has a solid record of leadership beyond her foundation. She has served as the president of the Women's Sports Foundation, which works to provide sports opportunities for girls and women. In addition, she is a leader on USA Gymnastics' board of directors and was a driving force behind the efforts of NYC2012, the bid commit­tee that represented the United States in the quest to host the 2012 Olympic Games.

Jenna Huff
In the fall of 2010, then high school sophomore Jenna Huff displayed an extraordinary act of sportsmanship during a regional cross-country meet. After trailing Deb Guthmann - a senior from an opposing school - for the majority of the three-mile race, Huff came around the final turn to see Guthmann faltering. It was obvious that Guthmann was in a great deal of pain and, rather than pass her by, Huff grabbed the stranger's arm, helped her get through the last 50 yards and pushed her one step ahead at the finish line.

The gesture helped Guthmann's Cuthbertson High School team win the race and advance to the state meet. The selfless act had specta­tors in tears and resonated throughout the local community, where the story was featured on the front page of the Charlotte Observer's sports section. Huff is now a 17-year-old junior at North Stanly High School in New London, N.C., where she is a five-sport athlete.

OLYMPIC TORCH AWARD
The Olympic Torch Award - established in 1965 - annually recognizes an individual who has made a positive impact on the Olympic Movement in the United States and has made many contributions to promoting the Olympic Ideals throughout the country.
Notable past recipients: Bud Greenspan (2000), Bonnie Blair (1996), President Gerald Ford (1977)

Christy Halbert
Christy Halbert has been instructing Olympic-style boxing for over 15 years, developing athletes on the local, regional, national and inter­national levels. In addition to teaching, Halbert has been devoted to improving the sport, increasing the number of female participants and getting women's boxing accepted into the Olympic Games. Halbert has spent over 10 years serving as the primary advocate to get women's boxing included in the Olympic Games - a dream that will come to fruition next year in London.

One of the only females to hold the highest level of coaching certifica­tion offered by USA Boxing, Halbert has led Team USA in numerous international events and has also served as an instructor at multiple clinics and camps. Her book, The Ultimate Boxer: Understanding the Sport and Skills of Boxing, continues to be the top-selling advanced instruction manual on the sport.

Halbert entered the sport as a professional fighter when women were not allowed to box as amateurs in the United States. She now trains boxers, coordinates gym instruction and oversees coaches' certifica­tion at Boxing Resource Center, a nonprofit organization she founded that is dedicated to training youth and young adults in Olympic-style boxing, while also offering free after-school tutoring.



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