COURAGE AWARD WINNERS

by Al Myers

Art Montini (right) receiving the Runner Up Courage from President Denny Habecker (left) at the 2013 USAWA National Championships.

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!

Courage Award

by Al Myers

Dave Glasgow being awarded the Runnerup Courage Award at the USAWA Nationals (center). He was presented the award by Al Myers (left) and Denny Habecker (right). Missing from this picture is the USAWA Courage Award winner Dale Friesz.

The USAWA Courage Award goes to a lifter 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”.  That is the way it is defined in the awards program information letter.  It might as well just say ” be like DALE FRIESZ” instead.   Dale takes courage to the extreme, and continues to lift weights when most (make that ALL) would have quit if they were in his situation.   I wasn’t “for sure” if Dale would be able to make it to this years Nationals, but he didn’t let me or the USAWA down on this.  Not only did he make the flight to Vegas, but he lifted in the meet and showed tremendous effort in all the days events.  He is a true warrior – and very, very deserving of this award.  It is only appropriate that he has now won it THREE YEARS IN A ROW!! That’s simply amazing, and is the only person to have won the same award every year since the award program has been in place.  The Courage Award winners were:

WINNER – DALE FRIESZ

RUNNERUP – DAVE GLASGOW

Dave Glasgow was a very fitting runner up to Dale.  Dave has had some physical difficulties as well this year (surgery on his arm), but most wouldn’t know about it.  Dave’s not one to make an issue of something like that.  It would have been easy for him to “take some time off” to milk his injury, but it didn’t seem to slow him down at all!  As soon as possible he was back on the lifting platform!! 

CONGRATS to Dale and Dave for winning this year’s COURAGE AWARD!

Dale Friesz: Courage Award Winner

by Al Myers

Dale Friesz receiving the USAWA Courage Award last year. Now Dale will have another Courage Award to add to his collection! (left to right): Al Myers, Dale Friesz

For the second time in two years, Dale Friesz won the Courage Award on behalf of the USAWA.   Dale was the unanimous selection among the membership votes, so it goes to show the respect Dale has amongst the membership of the USAWA.  In fact, if Dale wins this award again next year, it should be renamed the Friesz Courage Award!  Dale really wanted to compete this year at Nationals but due to a training injury a couple weeks prior to the meet was not able to make it.  I know this was a big disappointment for him. I know how tenacious Dale is about competing when he’s not 100%, as I have watched him compete when he probably shouldn’t have been!   This has been a tough year for Dale physically, but he has corresponded with me about his training and how he is still trying to do what he can.  Dale’s attitude  epitomizes the courage it takes to overcome obstactles and continue to lift despite whatever challenges he is faced with.  Without a doubt, most other lifters would have called it quits – but NOT DALE!   I was really glad to see Dale receive this award again because he DESERVES IT.  I just hope that I would have HALF the courage Dale has if I was faced with the same physical training barriers he has been faced with.   Congratulations Dale on behalf of the USAWA, and we all hope to see you again soon on the platform!