New York, N.Y.- Less than three weeks before the 2008 Paralympics begin in Beijing, it has been announced that World Champion Josh George has been selected as a winner of the 2008 ARETE Honors Award For Courage In Sports. George, who will be competing in Beijing for the United States in six events, will receive the award on October 17 in Chicago, with the feature to be broadcast on CBS later in the month. The show profiles various athletes who have not only succeeded, but have exemplified courage while overcoming challenges on their way to excelling in sports and life.
Past honorees range from professional athletes like Lance Armstrong, Alonzo Mourning, Tiger Woods and Muhammad Ali to Ben Comen, a young man born with cerebral palsy who served as captain of his high school cross country team.
“It is almost incomprehensible to me to be mentioned in the same sentence as such legendary past ARETE award winners, and I am looking forward to honoring their achievements by setting my own standard of excellence in Beijing next month,” George said. “I am looking forward to all the competition in Beijing and representing the United States, and then returning home to be part of this great CBS event in the fall.”
George, now 24, embarked on a career in athletics two years after surviving a 12 story fall at the age of four. The Virginia native and University of Illinois graduate was one of the youngest members of the U.S. National basketball team at age 21, and has held the World Records in the 100 meter and 800 meter sprints.
He has won the Chicago Marathon three times (in 2003, 2004 and 2006), won four (4) gold medals at the World Championships in the Netherlands in 2006 (100, 200, 400 and 800) and two bronze medals at the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece. He also was the starting guard for the gold medal winning U.S. Wheelchair basketball team at this past summer’s Parapan Games in Rio de Janero, Brazil (he is eligible but will not compete in basketball in Beijing to concentrate on track and marathon competition).