INDIANAPOLIS - Reigning Olympic decathlon champion Bryan Clay has been named the 2011 Visa Humanitarian of the Year by USA Track & Field. Clay will be honored on Saturday, December 3, at the Jesse Owens Awards and Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in St. Louis, Mo. The event is held in conjunction with USA Track & Field’s 2011 Annual Meeting.
|© Kirby Lee
"Receiving this award is an honor and a source of encouragement for me to continue doing what we set out to do at the Bryan Clay Foundation starting in 2005,” Clay said. “Like my coach once said to me, ‘To whom much is given, much is expected.”
In the six years since Clay established his foundation he has raised more than $140,000 for schools and impacted the lives of thousands of children.
"Giving back is important to me because I know I wouldn't be where I am today if it weren't for people giving back and investing in my life when I was younger,” Clay said. “I'm hoping that through the Bryan Clay Foundation I can help kids realize their full potential. Our core mission is about building champions and changing lives."
Clay is more than just a fundraiser. He is generous with his time working directly with kids. He hosts Kidfit Clinics to build self-confidence in children through athletics. He speaks to school children about his own life growing up and discovering his potential. He works with the Century Council to discourage underage drinking, and he participates with USA Track & Field’s Win With Integrity program to promote living a healthy, active, drug-free lifestyle.
Clay’s latest project is hosting the Fit4Fall 5K Run
on Saturday, November 19, in his community of Glendora, Calif. The race not only serves to raise funds for his efforts with children, but to also collect food and clothing for underprivileged families.
“As a long-standing partner of USA Track & Field, Visa is proud to recognize the world’s greatest athlete and Team Visa representative Bryan Clay for his dedication to helping youth," said Michael Lynch, Head of Global Sponsorship Management, Visa Inc. "Bryan continues to inspire both on and off the field, and we're proud to recognize him as the 2011 Visa Humanitarian of the Year."
The Visa Humanitarian of the Year Award was established in 1997 to recognize outstanding achievements by athletes in social activities and personal commitments outside the competition arena. A list of past winners may be viewed here.
For more information on the Bryan Clay Foundation, visit www.BryanClay.com