United States Sports Academy President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich proudly announces Roman Petushkov as the 2014 recipient of the Academy’s prestigious Juan Antonio Samaranch IOC Disabled Athlete Award.
The recognition comes after Petushkov starred in the 2014 Sochi Paralympics for Russia. The 36-year-old won an incredible six gold medals, the most ever at a Winter Games. The record-setting performance came on his home snow in the biathlon and cross-country skiing.
In the biathlon, he won the men’s 7.5 km, 12.5 km and 15 km sitting distances, and in cross-country skiing he captured gold in the men’s 1 km sprint and 15 km sitting events, as well as the 4×2.5km open relay.
The Samaranch Award is presented annually to a physically or mentally challenged athlete who displays courage, desire, and athletic ability in the face of adversity to achieve the goals set forth in the athlete’s particular arena of competition.
In February 2006, Roman was involved in a car accident which resulted in both of his legs being amputated. According to doctors, there was slight chance of his survival at all, but despite these predictions, he was able to regain his strength and decided not to give up.
As soon as he was able leave the hospital, Petushkov began training, and it was not long before this training produced results. He earned silver and bronze medals at the Paralympic games at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games and then victories at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games.
Petushkov says that sport taught him how to be strong, not to back off when facing the challenge, to work hard no matter what and to always do his best.
Last year, Tatyana McFadden won the award for performance after winning the 2013 Boston and London Wheelchair races. She was also won gold medals in the 2012 London Paralympic Games.
The United States Sports Academy’s Award of Sport program is a long-standing awards program within the Academy, dating back to 1985. The recipients of the awards will be recognized in an awards ceremony in November.
The United States Sports Academy is an independent, non-profit, accredited, special mission Sports University created to serve the nation and world with programs in instruction, research, and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports. For more information about the Academy, call 251-626-3303 or visit www.ussa.edu.