Cuban sprinter and multiple-Paralympic champion Omara Durand was given the 2016 Juan Antonio Samaranch IOC Disabled Athlete Award by the United States Sports Academy at a ceremony held at the Coliseum of Havana’s Sports City on 11 April.
This award is annually presented to those athletes with impairment who display courage, desire, and athletic ability in the face of adversity to achieve the goals set forth in the athlete’s particular arena of competition.
Durand received it from Roberto Leon Richard, Vice-president of the Cuban National Institute of Sports, Physical Education and Recreation. Durand’s daughter, Erika, and trainer, Miriam Ferrer, also attended the ceremony.
The world’s fastest female Paralympian had an impressive performance at Rio 2016, winning three golds and setting numerous records along the way. Four years before, she had claimed two titles at London 2012.
She took a three-year sabbatical following the birth of her daughter, but made an outstanding comeback at the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games, winning a hat-trick of titles. She followed that up with three more golds later that year at the World Championships in Doha, Qatar.
The Juan Antonio Samaranch IOC Disabled Athlete Award is part of the United States Sports Academy’s Awards of Sport, which each year serve as “A Tribute to the Artist and the Athlete.”
The Academy presents the awards to pay tribute to those who have made significant contributions to sport, in categories as diverse as the artist and the athlete in several different arenas of sport. The awards honour exemplary achievement in coaching, all-around athletic performance, courage, humanitarian activity, fitness and media, amongst others.
More information is available on the United States Sports Academy’s website.