One of Jesse Owens‘ granddaughters will present an award to Muhammad Ali‘s wife, Lonnie Ali, at the Team USA Awards in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 28.
The U.S. Olympic Committee announced the inaugural Jesse Owens Spirit Award that will be posthumously bestowed to Ali at the event.
The annual award “will recognize an individual(s) who has served as a powerful force for good in society, inspiring others by contributing to a better world, uniting people or leading a cause,” the U.S. Olympic Committee said in a press release.
“Our father believed in the power of the Olympic spirit, and felt that its capacity to spread goodness throughout the world has no boundaries,” Marlene Owens-Rankin, one of Owens’ three daughters, said in a press release. “We are honored that the USOC has created this new award in his name to recognize individuals for the positive impact they make on society. We greatly appreciate the USOC for recognizing our father with the initiation of this award.”
Ali died at age 74 on June 3. He won Olympic light heavyweight gold in 1960 and lit the Olympic cauldron in 1996.
This year marks the 80th anniversary of Owens’ triumph at the Berlin Olympics — four gold medals in the face of Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany.
“Muhammad believed with his whole heart in service to others and in advocating for those in need, and he was always proud of how the Olympic Movement could ignite that flame and unite the world in so many ways,” Lonnie Ali said in a press release. “I am honored to accept the Jesse Owens Olympic Spirit Award on his behalf, and to encourage young people everywhere to harness that spirit and compassion to make their own impact on the world and to leave it a better place for future generations.”
After two-time Olympic high jumper Jamie Nieto suffered a spinal cord injury while attempting a standing back flip in April 2016, he decided to set a goal for himself. Nietro was determined to walk down the aisle at his own wedding.
On Saturday, July 22, 2017, Nieto walked to the altar in front of everyone gathered at Christ Temple Apostolic Church in east San Diego – something his doctors said might not be possible.
Nieto, with some assistance, entered the church where he then married his bride, Jamaican hurdler Shevon Stoddart, exactly how he set out to – on his feet.
Five-time Olympian Kerri Walsh Jennings dislocated her shoulder during the semifinals of a beach volleyball tournament in Poland and forfeited the bronze medal match.
Walsh Jennings and new partner Nicole Branagh were tied in the third set of their match against Canada on Saturday when Walsh Jennings dove for the ball with her right arm and twisted her hand in the sand. After a four-minute delay, Canada went on to win the third set 16-14 and advance to the gold medal match.
“I just went for a short dig and the surface in Europe is so shallow and so hard and there’s no give for our bodies,” Walsh Jennings explained after the match in an interview with her shoulder wrapped in ice.
Walsh Jennings had surgery on the same shoulder during the run-up to the 2016 Rio Olympics, where she and April Ross won the bronze medal. Walsh Jennings won three gold medals with Misty May Treanor.
Walsh Jennings said she is looking forward to returning to the FIVB World Tour in Vienna in one week.