Art Montini is presented the IAWA Award of Merit

by Al Myers

Art Montini (center picture) receiving the IAWA Award of Merit. To left is the 2010 IAWA World Championships Meet Promoter George Dick, and to the right is IAWA President Steve Gardner.

One of the HIGHLIGHTS of the 2010 IAWA World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland was when Art Montini was presented the IAWA Award of Merit, a Presidential Award  presented to Art  by our IAWA President Steve Gardner.  This is the FIRST EVER such award ever given on behalf of the IAWA, and it went to the best eligible candidate in the organization.  Art has been to MOST of the IAWA World Championships since the IAWA was formed, and he ALWAYS represents himself in a dignified, professional manner that epitomizes the character of a CHAMPIONSHIP ATHLETE.  Art competes like he is working a job, always focused and performing picture-perfect lifts like they’re just another “task at hand”.  Don’t let his casual demeanor mislead you when he’s lifting – internally he’s as fired up as anyone else!!!

Another thing that impresses me immensely about Art is the passion he still has for lifting.  Art is now 82 years old, but when you are around him it becomes obvious that he “feels” like a much younger man.  I hope that I will have the same zeal for lifting that he has when I’m his age.  He is a great inspiration to me and I’m sure to many others.  He had no idea that he was going to be presented this award, and even when Steve was giving his intro, Art still didn’t think it was about him.  I was sitting right across from him at the banquet and the look of amazement and acknowledgment upon hearing his name called was PRICELESS!!

This is for Art – every0ne in the USAWA and IAWA consider you our  “father figure” in our organization who we look up to.  We are EXTREMELY PROUD that you have received this AWARD OF MERIT!!!! Congratulations!!

USAWA Award Winners for 2009

by Al Myers

Courage Award Winners Frank Ciavattone (left) and Dale Friesz (right).

One of the exciting things that has been developed in the USAWA this past year is the development of the USAWA Awards Program.  Included in the new USAWA bylaws is the creation of an Award Director for the USAWA, which is important to insure that the Awards Program will continue in the future. I was nominated for this position and upon receiving the membership’s blessing by an unanimous vote, I was appointed the Awards Director.  I feel giving “special awards” on behalf of the USAWA is VERY IMPORTANT and I will do my best to make sure this continues as long as I am in this position.  When someone shows that they are “going beyond what is expected” in the organization – it is only right that the USAWA gives them the credit they deserve.  I also want to make sure that these “special awards”  will continue to be selected by the membership, instead of by me or the Executive Board.  This makes them mean even more to the deserving award recipients – knowing that they were selected for these honorable awards by their peers.  These awards will be given out at the Annual National Meeting, which is always in conjunction with the National Championships. The 2009 Award winners are as follows:

Athlete of the Year Award Winners Chad Ullom (left) and Al Myers (right).

Athlete of the Year – Al Myers

Athlete of the Year Runner Up – Chad Ullom

Leadership Award – Bill Clark

Leadership Award Runner Up – Al Myers

Sportsmanship Award – Denny Habecker

Sportsmanship Award Runner Up – Art Montini

Courage Award – Dale Friesz

Courage Award Runner Up – Frank Ciavattone

Newcomer Award – David Glasgow

Newcomer Award Runner Up – Kohl Hess

Club of the Year – Dino Gym

Club of the Year Runner Up – Ambridge VFW BBC

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE 2009 SPECIAL AWARD WINNERS!! The USAWA is very proud of you and your accomplishments.

Award Candidates

by Al Myers

First, I want to thank everyone who made nominations and showed support to the USAWA Awards Program. I was overwhelmed by the number of nominations made – and the many athletes that were nominated.  One category had 7 athletes nominated – with EVERY ONE of them deserving of the award.  Now we will have to make the hard decision of picking just ONE athlete per award by having a membership vote.  I narrowed the candidates down to two per category, with the two being the ones that had the most nominations.  I listed them in alphabetical order (according to last name) so the order is NOT associated with their number of nominations.  I also want to point out that being the RUNNER-UP of these awards is quite an honor, and no one should feel disappointed even if they are not selected.  As I have said earlier, these kind of awards are the ones that mean the most as they are selected by your peers.  Anyone who is a current USAWA member is eligible to place a vote – so take the time and cast a vote.  Votes are to be sent to me at amyers@usawa.com.  The deadline for votes is May 26th – the same as the deadline for your National Championship Entry! These awards will be announced at the National Meeting.

Athlete of the Year

Al Myers
Chad Ullom

Leadership Award
Bill Clark
Al Myers

Sportsmanship Award
Denny Habecker
Art Montini

Courage Award
Frank Ciavattone
Dale Friesz

Newcomer Award
Dave Glasgow
Kohl Hess