Circle of Excellence awards held
September 4, 2015
The Youth Sports Alliance (YSA) honored nearly 100 athletes from nine different winter sport programs at the 2015 Circle of Excellence Awards (COE) ceremony and concert on Sunday, Aug. 30, at the Newpark Amphitheater. Athletes were awarded for their athletic achievements, leadership and show-stopping moments. Additionally, exceptional volunteerism was acknowledged with the Spirit of Service Award and extraordinary alumni athletes were recognized with the Hall of Fame Award.
Lindsey Van joined Brett Camerota, Joss Christensen, Chris "Hatch" Haslock, Ted Ligety, Megan McJames and Bryon Wilson in the YSA Hall of Fame. Van grew up in Park City ski jumping with the boys. A current member of the U.S. VISA Women’s Ski Jumping Team, Van won the 2009 FIS Nordic World Ski Jumping Championships, in addition to taking 15th place in the inaugural 2014 Olympic women’s ski jumping event in Sochi. While she is a pioneer for her sport and has had countless victories as an athlete, she says she’s most proud of her decision to become a bone marrow donor.
On hand to help distribute awards were two-time Olympic Nordic skier Liz Stephen and two-time Olympic aerial skier Emily Cook.
Cook said, "The Circle of Excellence awards were a great opportunity to connect with the youth of our community. being honored with a Circle of Excellence award, these athletes have already shown dedication, teamwork and an ability to overcome obstacles."
In a presentation directly to the junior athletes, she imparted a valuable piece of advice from her own experiences as an Olympian.
"Continue pursuing your dreams, doing what you love and working together," she said. "Along the way, there will likely be obstacles, but you are incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by a great community of coaches, teammates, family and friends. By supporting each other, I have no doubt that you will be successful."
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Cook, a long-time YSA supporter representing her employer, Skullcandy, went on to say, "Skullcandy is proud to support our local community and give back to youth that are living life at full volume. YSA is a great example of a nonprofit located in our backyard that promotes being passionate about what you love, encourages a healthy lifestyle and teaches leadership skills all through sports.
The Skullcandy Leadership Award was presented to figure skater Anna Shott. Shott earned the respect of her coaches and peers due to her hard work and enthusiasm. She developed a partnership with Nuzzels & Co. (formerly Friends of Animals Utah) to leverage the attendance, theme and reputation of the Figure Skating Club of Park City’s spring ice show to raise awareness about homeless pets and raise crucial funds for that organization.
Bob Wheaton, general manager of Deer Valley Resort, and Kerry Morgan, long-time director of YSA’s Get Out & Play program, were honored with YSA Spirit of Service awards. Both have spent countless hours supporting junior athletes through teams, venue partners and YSA events.
The Circle of Excellence recipients were recognized and celebrated during a concert featuring Granger School of Music and Utah Music Conservatory and Mountain Town Music. It was an evening to celebrate the youth of the Park City community. Circle of Excellence partners include Epic Promise, Skullcandy, Newpark Resort Hotel, Maxwell’s and NY Johnny’s Italian Ice.
The Circle of Excellence awards were established to honor the top five percent of athletes from YSA’s nine member teams, as well as recognize athletes for outstanding leadership or show-stopping moments during the preceding season. Additionally, awards are given to acknowledge exceptional volunteerism with the Spirit of Service Award and recognize great accomplishments in sport in the community or outstanding achievement in life after sport with the Hall of Fame Award. In addition to recognizing and celebrating Park City’s junior athletes’ successes, the awards honor the top-tier coaching staff, the support of the Park City community, and the five world-class training venues including Deer Valley, Park City Mountain, Utah Olympic Park, Park City Ice Arena and White Pine Touring.
The YSA supports winter sports activities for youth in Summit and Wasatch counties, promoting good sportsmanship and healthy lifestyles through participation, education and competition. The YSA supports nine member teams, including Figure Skating Club of Park City, Park City Ice Miners Youth Hockey, Park City Ski Team, Park City Speed Skating Team, Summit Ski Team, Team Park City United, Wasatch Freestyle Foundation, Wasatch Luge Club and Utah Olympic Park Club (FLY Freestyle, G-Force Bobsled & Skeleton Development Program, and Park City Nordic Ski Club), the Get Out & Play elementary school program and scholarships for junior athletes.
For more information, visit ysaparkcity.org, call 435-214-0792, or follow YSA on Facebook and Twitter.
Mila Leger Redel
Sydney Palmer Leger
Get Out & Play SCOTT Core Values Awards
Deidre Duncan Amendola
Skullcandy Leadership Award Nominees
Winner — Anna Shott
Showstopper Award Nominees
Park City Icing Synchronized Skating Teams
Winner — Wynter Probert
Spirit of Service Award Winners