USA Weightlifting Features Darren Barnes Named ...

Darren Barnes Named AAU 2012 Sullivan Award Finalist

March 27, 2013, 10:58 a.m. (ET)

Darren Barnes Named AAU 2012 Sullivan Award Finalist

Outstanding Amateur Athlete to Be Named at Orlando Ceremony

Lake Buena Vista, Fla. – (March 26, 2013) – The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) today announced that Darren Barnes, a weightlifter from St. Louis, has been named one of three finalists for the 2012 James E. Sullivan Award, which honors the nation's outstanding amateur athletes. The Sullivan Award has been presented annually since 1930, and is based on character, leadership and sportsmanship. Notable recipients of the AAU Sullivan Award include: Mark Spitz, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Florence Joyner, Peyton Manning, Michael Phelps, J.J. Redick, Tim Tebow, and Shawn Johnson.

Darren Barnes is being honored for his athleticism and sportsmanship in weightlifting. Barnes is a competitive lifter for USA Weightlifting who set six national records at the 2012 World Junior Championships. Most recently, he set two records at the American Open, qualifying him for the 2013 World Junior Championships.

Barnes gives back to the community in his spare time. He also graduated high school with a 4.0 GPA. If selected, Barnes would become the first ever weightlifter to win the AAU Sullivan Award.

“I am very excited about the finalist selected for this year’s AAU James E. Sullivan Award,” said Henry Forrest, President of the AAU. “Darren is one of the best and the brightest among the hundreds of thousands of amateur athletes who are pursuing their dreams. Not just in the gym, he demonstrates character and leadership in his community as well. I look forward to meeting Darren and congratulating him on his achievements.” 

Barnes, along with fellow finalists Liz Brenner (University of Oregon) and Missy Franklin (USA Swimming), were nominated by their sport’s national governing body or university’s athletic department. The winner has been determined through a public voting, accounting for one-third of the votes, as well as voting by the United States National Governing Bodies and Division I Athletic Directors and Sports Information Directors. The winner will be honored at an awards ceremony on Tuesday, April 16th at the AAU National Headquarters in Orlando, Fla.

About the AAU

Founded in 1888, the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) is one of the largest, non-profit, volunteer, sports organizations in the United States. The philosophy of “Sports for All, Forever,” is shared by over 500,000 participants and over 50,000 volunteers. The AAU is divided into 57 distinct Districts which annually sanction more than 34 sports programs, 250 national championships, and over 30,000 age division events. A multi-sport organization, the AAU is dedicated exclusively to the promotion and development of amateur sports and physical fitness programs.

Contact:          Kristina Haumschild

Phone:             321-246-8061