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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado - The 2016 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Assembly will conclude this Friday with a special award ceremony to present some of the most prestigious honors in the Olympic and Paralympic Movement. USA Archery is honored to share that two outstanding members of our community will be recognized with these awards.
Jim Easton was named the Olympic Torch Award honoree. The Olympic Torch Award recognizes an individual who has positively impacted the Olympic Movement by promoting the Olympic Ideals.
Easton, who has devoted more than 60 years of service to the development of archery, acted as president of the International Archery Federation (now known as World Archery) from 1989-2005. He has served more than 20 years as a board member for the International Olympic Committee and USOC (1994-2015), including four years as an IOC vice president (2002-06).
Under his leadership, the Easton Sports Development Foundation has supported the development of several regional training facilities, including the Easton Archery Center of Excellence at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in California, as well as the World Archery Excellence Center in Switzerland.
"Jim Easton and the Easton Family are honored by the Olympic Torch Award from the USOC," commented Greg Easton on behalf of Jim. "My father has spent his life supporting archery and the Olympic Movement and this recognition is appreciated. Archery is a sport that exemplifies the values of fair play and sportsmanship and shares these values with the Olympic Movement. As one of the oldest sports in history my dad is proud of his contributions which helped keep Archery in the Olympics and set a standard for other sports in terms of modernization and transparency."
Coach Glen Bennett is also being honored as the recipient of the Rings of Gold Award. This award is given annually to an unsung hero who has dedicated him or herself to helping children develop their Olympic or Paralympic dreams and reach their highest athletic and personal potential.
A volunteer coach for the Michigan State University archery team for more than six years, Bennett has developed archers into national champions and All-American athletes. He also currently serves as the program coordinator for the Michigan State Demmer Shooting Sports, Education and Training Center, and teaches a Junior Olympic Archery Development Program. Bennett also works with visually impaired and quadriplegic athletes to help them learn archery.
"Through the years we have received numerous letters from children and parents in the community thanking him for coaching and providing children the opportunity to find a sport that they feel comfortable with and allow them to learn the disciplines to become a better person," shared Demmer Center Manager Michael Galella.
"I'm humbled to be in such great company," Coach Bennett shared. "I couldn't do it without the help of Michigan State giving me the opportunity to coach and USA Archery for giving me the right tools to help me succeed going forward. The 160 kids we have for JOAD and another 80 or 90 kids for collegiate keep me hopping, but I'm humbled to say the least. It's not as much about me as it is about getting through to them and learning from each other."
"On behalf of USA Archery, we are very honored to share in this recognition of Jim Easton and Coach Bennett," commented USA Archery CEO Denise Parker. The Easton Family has been a longstanding staple in growing the sport of archery and promoting the ideals of the Olympic Movement and we could not be more grateful for their continued efforts and contributions. We also greatly appreciate Coach Bennett's continued dedication to grow archery at all levels and abilities and are proud of his accomplishments thus far."
Some information attributed to USOC Communications.
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