The 2011 Sportswomen of Colorado annual awards took place on March 13th in Denver. This award pays tribute to Colorado’s outstanding female athletes and to persons who have contributed to girl’s and women’s athletics and Poppy Sports was thrilled to be a part of the evening.
Amongst those honored this year were the trio of ladies from Colorado who took first, second and third places in their age group the Hawaii Ironman 2010 – Ellen Hart, Poppy Sports Coach Teresa Rider and Kathy Alfino respectively.
All three Colorado woman have made positive contributions to the sport of Ironman triathlon and their success in the 50-54 age group is testament to the adage that age is just a number.
Teresa is head coach at the Poppy Sports Triathlon Training Camps for Women in Boulder, Colorado launching June 2011.
Susie Wargren, a local sports reporter, triathlete and women’s sports advocate from the local NBC affiliate, helped host the evening and the true joy was witnessing the dedication and commitment on the part of so many young, high school age athletes.
In a world where soundbites and immediate gratification seem to rule the day, it was refreshing to see the long term dedication that these young athletes give not only to their sport but also to their studies, family and other interests. Gosh, do I sound old?
The overall award for achievements in 2010 was given to Alana Nichols. In the winter of 2000, Alana broke her back in a snowboarding accident. It left her paralyzed from the waist down. After two years of rehabilitation, Alana came back to sports. In 2003 she began playing wheelchair basketball for the University of Arizona. She also got back up on the ski slopes, this time on a mono-ski.
Last year, 10 years after her accident, she went to the Paralympic Games in Vancouver and captured the gold medal in the Giant Slalom and Downhill. She won the silver in the Super G.
She won bronze in the Super Combined. Two years earlier, in 2008 in Beijing, Alana helped her U.S. Women’s Paralympic Basketball Team bring home the Gold medal. She is the first woman ever to earn two gold medals in two different sports on the Paralympic world stage!