2011 NICA award banquet

High school mountain bikers honored at NICA banquet

Muhammad Ali, Wilma Rudolph, Lance Armstrong, Magic Johnson. What do they all have in common? They’re all well-known sports heroes. They are more than just champions in their respective sports. They have all used their fame to give back, to inspire and encourage, and to call attention to that which deserves attention from us all. They have all achieved something greater than athletic success, they have all done something to make the world a fairer, healthier, safer place.

Not every sports hero is famous. Not every sports hero is an athlete. Not every sports hero is memorialized in bronze, or has a street named for them. There are less-known sports heroes all around us. They do their part to give back, to inspire and encourage, and call attention. These less-known heroes often do this on their own time, and often on their own dime. Their efforts usually go unacknowledged.

Last Saturday night was an exception. The National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) held its first annual awards banquet at Clif Bar HQ in Emeryville to honor 17 of its own. (more…)