COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The United States & Paralympic Olympic Committee has announced that six-time Olympic champion Amy Van Dyken will receive the Jesse Owens Spirit Award from the legendary sprinter’s grandson on Nov.19.
The fourth annual Jesse Owens Olympic Spirit Award will be given to Van Dyken at the 2019 Team USA Awards presented by Dow, Best of the Year, at Universal Studios. The award recognizes an individual who has served as a powerful force for good in society.
Van Dyken has been dedicated to improving the lives of people with spinal cord injuries. Through the Amy Van Dyken Foundation and Amy’s Army, her Wheels for Kids initiative provides wheelchairs for children in need. She also works with hospitals, therapists and case workers to swap out poor-fitting wheelchairs with those that match children’s growing bodies.
A six-time Olympic champion in swimming and U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Hall of Fame member, Van Dyken was in a serious ATV accident that severed her spinal cord on June 6, 2014. Since then, she has embodied the spirit of Jesse Owens’ legacy by using her Olympic platform to contribute to a better world.
“Jesse Owens continues to be a role model to all Olympians and Paralympians, showing us that sport has the power to ignite change in society and gives us a platform to impact others in a positive way,” Van Dyken said.
Established in collaboration with the Owens family on the 80th anniversary of Owens’ record-breaking performance at the Olympic Games Berlin 1936, the award celebrates his spirit and legacy by recognizing its presence in others.
Owen’s grandson Stuart Rankin will present the award to Van Dyken at the ceremony on behalf of his family.