by Al Myers
The Courage Award, presented on behalf of the USAWA, goes to an individual who “shows the courage to overcome an obstacle in order to return to competition. This may be a comeback from an injury, or just having to deal with difficult personal issues but still shows the courage to compete in the USAWA.”
The Courage Award Winners for this year go to:
WINNER – DALE FRIESZ
RUNNER UP – ART MONTINI
Several months ago the USAWA lost one of the TRUE SUPPORTERS of the USAWA, with the death of Dale Friesz. Dale was actively involved in the USAWA for practically the entire time since the organization began. He was at almost EVERY National Championships, and it was obvious that his passion for all round weightlifting was beyond that of the normal USAWA member. I miss our weekly email correspondence – Dale always had ideas on how to better our organization.
We all know Dale has been the perennial winner of the Courage Award since the program started. His persistence to continue competition despite battling physical hardships and barriers were like nothing I’ve ever seen before, of which I’ve covered in details in previous stories. Last year at Nationals in Vegas Dale truly gave the grittiest effort on the platform I’ve witnessed. However, I was somewhat surprised to see Dale gather the most votes for this years Courage Award, considering he is no longer with us on the platform. This goes to show the respect Dale had from his lifting friends and those members of the USAWA to receive an award like this posthumously. I’ve said this before, but it would seem fitting that the Courage Award in the future take on the name “Dale Friesz Courage Award” as Dale has set “the bar” for deserving it.
Runner Up goes to Art Montini – Dale’s ole friend and competitor. Art continues to amaze everyone with his active meet participation at the age of 85! At Nationals Art visited with me about plans to attend the IAWA Worlds in England this fall. His enthusiasm for all round competition is more than most guys a QUARTER of his age!