08 August 2012
Olympians win prestigious Eric Liddell Award
Two-time British Olympic silver medallist rower Debbie Flood and Bryan Clay, the Olympic decathlon gold and silver medallist, have been announced as the winners of the 2012 Eric Liddell Award. The award honours one male and female athlete for outstanding character at home, in the community and on and off the field of competition.
Presentation of the Liddell Award is the centerpiece of the More Than Gold Legacy Breakfast, to be held during the London 2012 Games to celebrate character and influence in the world of sports.
The Eric Liddell Award is given in memory of Olympian Eric Liddell, who won gold and bronze medals for Great Britain at the 1924 Paris Olympics. Liddell is best known for the portrayal of his Olympic experience in the Oscar-winning film Chariots of Fire. His daughters, Heather Ingham and Patricia Russell, will attend the breakfast to celebrate their father's legacy of character and service.
In addition to the award presentation at the Legacy Breakfast on Friday (10 August) at Central Hall, Westminster, in London, the 400 breakfast guests, including some 120 current and former Olympians, will hear from special guests including Jerry Colangelo, chairman of US basketball, Madeline Manning Mims, Olympic gold medallist in track and field, and Gene Davis, Olympic bronze medallist in wrestling.
Debbie Flood is a two-time Olympic silver medallist in rowing and a three-time world champion. She co-founded Creativity in Sport, a community interest organisation giving at-risk youth opportunities to study positive life skills curriculum and work toward fitness teaching qualification. Motivated by a desire to work with troubled youth, she took a year off from rowing in 2009 to qualify as a prison officer.
"Eric Liddell was a great man of faith and an example of an ambassador of God both in and outside sport. God has given me the gifts and abilities that I have and I have tried to use them to the best of my ability while also sharing my faith through how I play my sport on and off the water," Debbie Flood said.
Decathlon gold (2008) and silver (2004) medallist, world indoor and two-time world outdoor champion, Clay founded the Bryan Clay Foundation in 2005 to help "build champions and change lives", offering opportunities for children to discover their gifts and talents and develop their character.
"I remember watching Chariots of Fire when I was in ninth grade and what stood out the most to me was Eric Liddell's unwavering courage to stand up for what he believed to be right. I'm truly humbled and honoured to receive an award in his name," he said.
The Legacy Breakfast is hosted by Athletes in Action, an international sports outreach that uses the medium of sport to help people answer questions of faith. It is in partnership with More Than Gold, the agency set up by all the UK's main denominations to help churches make the most of the 2012 Games.