by Al Myers
After our banquet following the National Meet, we had the Awards Ceremony. Included in this ceremony was the presentation of the Special Awards that were given on behalf of the USAWA to individuals that have shown excellence within the USAWA during this past year. The recipients of these Special Awards were chosen and voted on by the USAWA membership. I feel that makes receiving one of these awards all that more special, because you know that your peers in the organization were the ones who chose you. The “highest award” that the USAWA recognizes is the Athlete of the Year, which is our version of a MVP award. This year it went to a very deserving lifter – Chad Ullom. Chad has had an outstanding year of competitions within the USAWA. He placed second overall at last years National Championship, and then went on to win OVERALL BEST LIFTER at the IAWA World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland last fall. All together, Chad competed in 14 USAWA events during the year 2010. (YES – that’s 14 events and not a typo!). There are not very many lifters that compete in that many events over a 5 year period – but Chad did it all in ONE YEAR! I want to give you a quick run-down of his successes in 2010, and after I do this NO ONE would question why he is our ATHLETE OF THE YEAR. He started the year off by winning the Dino Gym Challenge which was the first USAWA event of the year (so he also has the distinction of winning the first meet of the year as well). After competing in the Grip Challenge and the Dino Gym Record Day, he joined the Dino Gym Team at the Club Challenge in Ambridge and helped out the team to victory. After this, he competed in a couple of postals (Goddard Postal & Eastern Open) and then onto his second place overall finish at the 2010 National Championships. After that, he competed in the Ledaig Record Day before competing in Team Nationals, where he was part of the winning overall team. After his crowning win at the World Championships, he competed in the World Postal Meet as a team member of the Dino Gym (which won the overall team title). He finished the year off by competing in the JWC Record Breakers (where he set 18 USAWA Records) and then off to the Gold Cup in Boston, and finishing with competing in the National Postal Meet. Now that’s a resume!!
Congratulations Chad – you have had a year of successful competitions that would be hard for anyone to follow!