After an amazing vacation week in Spain, which included laying on the beach, wind surfing, tennis and, well, more laying on the beach, I was back in Park City for springtime.
Now most of you know I grew up in Park City and therefore watched the 2002 Olympic Winter Games at the young age of 7. Well long story short, this is one of the reasons I became involved in ski jumping and therefore I am a direct result of these Games coming to Utah. Thanks to the wonderful weather and awesome sport programs in Utah, I was able to train on the Olympic venues throughout my childhood and into my career.
|With my parents at the awards
The reason why I am bringing this up now is because on April 16, I was awarded by the Governor of Utah the "Olympian of the Year Award." Now, obviously I am not an Olympian, but since I am from the generation of starting sports as a result of Utah holding the Olympics they felt like I deserved this award based on my results in World Cup from the 2011-12 winter season.
I was very honored to receive this award and was happy to attend the luncheon with the governor himself to accept the honor. Other award winners included many Utah high school and college athletes for their achievements throughout the year, USSA as athletic program of the year and Spencer Eccles for the lifetime achievement award. It was such an amazing feeling to be in a room filled with Utah locals all with the common dedication of sports! If there is one thing that I have learned over the years, it's the common bond you have with people that work day in and day out to be the best in their sport – a very special connection.
In addition to all the locals at the luncheon, Andre Agassi was in attendance. Being in the younger generation I didn't know much about his famous tennis playing but was blown away not only by his accomplishments on the court but also the work he is doing for kids in need. His success helped him build a school for underprivileged kids in Nevada and it was awesome to hear how he is changing lives – a dream I have after I am finished competing.
The whole awards made me realize how lucky I was to grow up in a state that cares so much about its athletes! Hope everyone is having a good spring and thanks for reading my updates!