Established in 2009, Athletes with Disabilities Network (ADN) was formed by combining Athletes with Disabilities Hall of Fame (est 1999) and Extremity Events Network (est 2007). ADN’s mission is to promote a better quality of life by creating opportunities for people with physical disabilities.
“There’s No Replacement for the Competitive Spirit”
The Athletes with Disabilities Hall of Fame has recognized nearly 100 individuals who share a passion for life and a dedication to inspire others through their words, actions and giving back to the community. The Hall of Fame represents a unique opportunity for athletes with disabilities to be enshrined for their athletic accomplishments, as well as community leaders for their work with persons with disabilities. Honorees are not only a “Who’s Who” in their sports, but are role models for the next generation of young people with disabilities, and their awe-inspiring stories bring much-needed awareness to the general public. In 2014, the top male and female Athlete of the Year awards went to:
Lex Gillette, the current world record holder in the long jump, a three-time Paralympic medalist, the reigning world champion in the long jump, a 15-time national champion and the only totally blind athlete in the world to eclipse the 22-foot barrier in the long jump.
and Jamie Whitmore who, after racing for eight years as a professional triathlete and mountain biker, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer growing out of her sciatic nerve, which left her paralyzed in her left lower leg creating drop foot. She also lost her left gluteal muscle. Three years later she won the 2012 C3 Para Cycling Road and Time Trail National Championship. As part of the National Para Cycling Team, Jamie has been competing and winning titles all over the world.
Extremity Games is an extreme sports competition for athletes living with limb loss or limb difference. The Games provide an opportunity for athletes to compete peer-to-peer and provides unmatched camaraderie for those with limb loss or limb difference. The Games include Skateboarding, Rock Climbing, Kayaking, Wakeboarding, Mountain Biking, Powerlifting and Moto-X.
The ADN also formed the The Adaptive Sports & Recreation Coalition, which brings together local organizations to enhance sports, recreation and leisure for people with physical disabilities. The Coalition goals are:
- Provide information to help those who are newly injured
- Raise awareness about the opportunities for the disabled community
- Develop partnerships that support member organizations
And that’s not all! The ADN also has a mentoring program – the No Limits Mentoring Program connects its network to individuals or groups who are seeking inspiration and motivation. The goal of the program is to introduce personal stories of success, and discuss the role that sporting opportunities plays in all aspects of their lives. And a Community Outreach Program which reaches out to elementary and high school students to teach disability awareness and introduce a variety of adaptive sports.
Sunshine Prosthetics and Orthotics appreciates the inspiring work of the ADN. They are supported through corporate and public donations and sales at their online store. If you’d like to learn more about the Athletes with Disabilities Network, or to donate, you can click on the links below.