Paralympic Gold Medalist Scandone Wins US SAILING?s National Sportsmanship Award

Posted by Anteater Sailing Team on August 28, 2009 at 7:06 PM

Paralympic Gold Medalist Scandone Wins US SAILING’s National Sportsmanship Award


Wife presented with W. Van Alan Clark, Jr. Trophy at Clagett Regatta


PORTSMOUTH,R.I. (August 27, 2009) - US SAILING, the national governing body for the sport,has announced the winner of its National Sportsmanship award, the W. Van AlanClark Jr. Trophy, to the late Nick Scandone (Fountain Valley, Calif.). Today,US SAILING’s Executive Director, Charlie Leighton, presented the nationalsportsmanship award to Nick Scandone’s wife, Mary Kate, following the awardsceremony for the C. Thomas Clagett, Jr. Memorial Regatta (a sanctioned eventfor disabled sailors) at Fort Adams in Newport, R.I.


The 2008 Paralympic Gold Medalist passed away January 2, 2009, after a long battle withALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, a debilitating neurodegenerative disease thataffects the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. An avid sailor since hewas a child, Scandone reached his ultimate goal of winning a Paralympic goldmedal this past summer in Qingdao, China with SKUD-18 teammate MaureenMcKinnon-Tucker. Scandone beat the odds of his disease by not only being strongenough to compete at the 2008 Paralympic Games, but by winning the gold medal aday early, with two races left to go.


Leighton mentioned in his presentation that, “In the words of those who nominated thisyear’s winner, Nick served as an example of a person who not only played hissport well within the parameters of the rules, but encouraged others to do thesame. He was humble about his achievements, accepting honors and awardsquietly, while speaking from the heart. Nick showed interest in each person,not just in the race results of the day. Nick’s record of loyalty to histeammates and self-sacrifice at the highest level of sailing competition madethe committee’s decision, in the end, an easy one.”


“Nickwas a driving force in Paralympic sailing and an amazing example to all of usthat nothing is impossible if you set your mind to it regardless of thechallenges that may stand in your way,” said Betsy Alison, 2008 Paralympic TeamHead Coach. “It’s a fitting tribute that this award be presented at the ClagettMemorial Regatta. He spent so many memorable moments with some of thesesailors, and contributed to bringing in sailors to compete at these events.”


Scandonebecomes the first disabled sailor to win US SAILING’s W. Van Alan Clark, Jr.Sportsmanship Trophy. He joins a long list of highly respected sailors who havereceived the award since the award was first presented 20 years ago. The listincludes such well-known sailors as Olin J. Stephens, Dave Perry, HarryCarpenter, and Buddy Melges.


Sportsmanshipis difficult to define but easily recognizable. The high standards exemplifiedby the true sportsperson are vital to the health of sailing, which is why eachyear US SAILING presents its prestigious W. Van Alan Clark, Jr. Trophy. Thisaward honors those people who are outstanding examples of dedication andgraciousness in the sport of sailing, and for sharing these talents withothers. Nominees include sailors who have performed a single exemplary act orwho have consistently exemplified the finest tradition of the sport both on andoff the water, through instruction and encouragement of others.


Moreinformation about the W. Van Alan Clark, Jr. National Sportsmanship Trophy canbe found on US SAILING's website at  ;




TheUnited States Sailing Association (US SAILING), the national governing body forsailing, provides leadership for the sport in the United States. Founded in1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, US SAILING is a 501(c) (3) non-profitorganization. US SAILING offers training and education programs for instructorsand race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations andcommunities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administrationand oversight of competitive sailing across the country, including NationalChampionships and the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics. For more information, please visit     

Listaddress: medialist@USSAILING.ORG




Categories: Alumni News

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