Colorado Springs, Colo.--Colorado's 2009 State Games Athletes of the Year compete in two very different sports. Both not only have national and international reputations but excelled in a field of 10,312 athletes during the State Games of America in Colorado Springs, July 30-August 2.
Asya Miller, a blind 29-year old athlete who lives and trains in Colorado Springs, is the state's State Games Female Athlete of the Year.
The 2008 U.S. Paralympic gold medalist and Michigan native won silver medals at the State Games of America Track and Field competition in the Discus (104.49) and Javelin (85.60), and a bronze medal in the shot put (33.76) while competing against a field of sighted competitors.
She won a gold medal for the USA in the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing, too, scoring the winning goal for the United States in a 6-5 overtime win over host China. The versatile star scored all six goals during the Gold medal game, in fact.
She was nominated for an ESPY Award this year in the "Best Female Athlete With Disabilities" category for the final show in New York for her amazing performance.
37-year old JJ Clark of Colorado Springs is the Colorado State Games Male Athlete of the Year.
Clark captured the gold medal in the Men's Male pro 19+ Division in Mountain Biking at the recent State Games of America. His gold medal came two weeks after the accomplished cyclist won the U.S. Cycling National Championship in the Male Pro Singlespeed Class.
His State Games of America championship also gave him the overall men's points championship in the prestigious Carmichael Training Systems Sand Creek Series, a major summer event in Colorado.
The two, selected by the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation, will be among a field of nominees by states for the National State Games Male and Female Athlete Of The Year Awards, which will be announced next Thursday, August 25, by the National Congress of State Games.