Wendy Hilliard of New York, N.Y., will receive the Rings of Gold Award from the U.S. Olympic Committee for her dedication in helping children develop their Olympic or Paralympic dreams and reach their highest athletic and personal potential.
Hosted by the U.S. Olympic Committee, the 2011 U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Assembly begins on Thursday (Sept. 22) at the Antlers Hilton in Colorado Springs, Colo. During the annual three-day gathering of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic family, the USOC will present four of its annual awards, including the Jack Kelly Fair Play Award, presented by BP; the Olympic Torch Award; and Rings of Gold awards for both an individual and program.
The 2011 award recipients:
- Jack Kelly Fair Play Award, presented by BP – Jenna Huff (New London, N.C.)
- Olympic Torch Award – Christy Halbert (Nashville, Tenn.)
- Rings of Gold Award (individual) – Wendy Hilliard (New York, N.Y.)
- Rings of Gold Award (program) – Peter Westbrook Foundation (New York, N.Y.)
RINGS OF GOLD AWARDS
The Rings of Gold awards – inaugurated in 1996 – annually recognize an individual and a program dedicated to helping children develop their Olympic or Paralympic dreams and reach their highest athletic and personal potential.
Wendy Hilliard, a nine-time rhythmic gymnastics national team member, established the Wendy Hilliard Foundation in 1996. Since that time, the organization has provided free gymnastics – including classes, summer programs, competitive teams and clinics – to over 10,000 inner-city youth in New York City.
In addition to developing successful athletes, the foundation also helps kids become better citizens, with many achieving success in other walks of life. In addition, Hilliard’s leadership has also led to the development of sports facilities that serve youth and their communiA A-ties. In 2006, the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame member designed and opened a 15,000 square foot gymnastics center for Aviator Sports and Recreation in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Hilliard also has a solid record of leadership beyond her foundation. She has served as the president of the Women’s Sports Foundation, which works to provide sports opportunities for girls and women. In addition, she is a leader on USA Gymnastics’ board of directors and was a driving force behind the efforts of NYC2012, the bid commitA A-tee that represented the United States in the quest to host the 2012 Olympic Games.