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USA Triathlon Women's Committee Announces 2014 Spirit of Judy Flannery Award Winner

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The USA Triathlon Women’s Committee is pleased to announce Cherie Gruenfeld, from Cathedral City, Calif., as the winner of the 2014 Spirit of Judy Flannery Award. Established in 1997, the award honors Judy Flannery, a Grand Masters multisport athlete, who served as the first Women's Commission chair and was tragically killed in a bike accident.

“The Women’s Committee is proud to reintroduce this award in Judy’s memory and to continue her legacy of outstanding women competing in and serving our sport,” said Tara Comer, Chair of the Women’s Committee. “We received several outstanding nominations and the committee selected Cherie based on the criteria — excellence in multisport, high moral character, and commitment to use triathlon experiences in service to our sport.”

Gruenfeld, one of the most celebrated Grand Master triathletes, who recently aged up to 70-74, has a long string of athletic honors: 11 Ironman World Championship titles with several course records, Ironman 70.3 World Champion (2012), a nine-time World #1 ranked Amateur Ironman Triathlete, USA Triathlon Female Grandmaster of the Year (2001, 2007), and she is a multi-time USA Triathlon All-American. In addition, she is a coach, motivational speaker, and author of “Becoming an Ironman.” Gruenfeld has inspired many through her work as the founder and director of Exceeding Expectations Foundation, a non-profit based in San Bernardino, Calif., that serves an inner-city population and encourages at-risk kids to move their lives in a positive direction, using the sport of triathlon as the vehicle.

“It’s an honor to be recognized for this award in Judy’s memory,” said Gruenfeld. “When I came into the sport, Judy was a real star, both on and off the course. She was an inspiration to me and to many others, and I felt the shock and sorrow when I heard the news that we’d lost her to such a tragic and senseless accident. In her short time with us, she left a legacy of giving back to the sport she loved.”

Gruenfeld joins an impressive list of award winners that include: Clarinda Brueck, Celeste Callahan, Dottie Dorion, Sue Falsey, Melissa Merson, and Kate Knight-Perry.

The Spirit of Judy Flannery award will be presented at a special reception hosted by the Women’s Committee before the Athlete of the Year Dinner on Thursday, August 7, 2014 at the USA Triathlon National Age Group Championships
in Milwaukee, Wis.

About the USA Triathlon Women’s Committee
The USA Triathlon Women’s Committee is focused on creating a resource for female athletes of all levels and socioeconomic backgrounds by mentoring professional growth for women in the sport of triathlon. The Women’s Committee is concentrating on the quality of training as well as opportunities available for women in positions of authority and decision-making within associations that govern the sport. The WC is a national committee of women from all over the U.S. with a variety of professions and diverse levels of participation in triathlon.

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