• Female: Sini Pyy (FIN) Biathlon/Cross country skiing
The winners were selected as athletes who, at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games, best exemplify the spirit of the Paralympic Games and the Paralympic values.
The winners were chosen by an independent panel of judges comprising of IPC Governing Board members from a shortlist of six finalists which included:
• Male: Vitaliy Lukyanenko (UKR), Adam Hall (NZL), and Eui Hyun Sin (KOR) • Female: Danelle Umstead (USA), Jae Rim Yang (KOR), and Sini Pyy (FIN)
The mission of the Whang Youn Dai Achievement Award is to enhance the will of people with disabilities to overcome their adversities through the pursuit of excellence in sports and through the Paralympic Games. The two winners have shown exceptional qualities that represent this award.
The award is named after Dr. Whang Youn Dai, a forefront advocate for persons with disabilities for over 50 years. It has been given since the Seoul 1988 Paralympic Games to inspire persons with disabilities and the world to achieve excellence in sports and in life.
Dr. Whang and Duane Kale IPC Vice President will be presenting the two athletes with pure gold medals at Sunday’s Closing Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.
The winners profiles
Adam Hall (NZL)
Growing up with spina bifida in a farm community on the south island of New Zealand, Adam was able to enjoy sport. Through the power of sport Adam was able to overcome personal challenges and compete at a high level against others around the world. Adam believes sport teaches you many things such as self-discipline, self-belief, and courage. Adam selflessly gives back to the disabled community encouraging and supporting people into Para Sport so the Paralympic Movement remains strong and prospers in New Zealand.
Sini Pyy (FIN)
Sini was very active in sports at a young age. At the age of 17 she was in a car accident that resulted in a spinal cord injury. She realised life was not over and she would have to learn to do things differently and she could adapt. Her biggest challenge came from other peoples’ attitudes and perceptions of people with disabilities. Through sports she found a way to peruse her dreams and she encourages other to pursue their dreams. Sini’s hope for others with disabilities is that they see that disability is not the end of their lives. They need to move past this notion or fear. It might change the way they look, but it does not change their dreams and aspirations. It does not change who they are. Sini has had a very important role in building the first athlete’s council for the NPC Finland this year.