Team Invacare's Ernst Van Dyk Wins Award
ELYRIA, Ohio Ernst Van Dyk, a member of Team Invacare since 1998, was named Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability. The seventh annual Laureus World Sports Awards, which honors the world's best sportsmen and women, were held in Barcelona, Spain, May 20-22.
Van Dyk's honor topped an amazing 2006 racing season that included his sixth straight win at the 2006 Boston Marathon. Among his 2006 victories were wheelchair racing marathon wins in Paris, New York and Los Angeles. In 2005, Van Dyk was victorious at the aforementioned races, as well as Oita, Japan and Seoul plus short distance victories in the 400 and 800 meters at Atlanta's Meet in the Heat. Van Dyk also won the Saddlers Ultra Challenge Handcycle race in Alaska, which takes handcyclists from Fairbanks to Anchorage in six days.
Van Dyk, who has three world records under his belt, had a double amputation from the knee down resulting from congenital birth defects. He races in an Invacare Top End® Eliminator OSR racing chair.
Winners of the Laureus World Sports Awards are selected by 42 members of the Laureus World Sports Academy. Voting for the Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability is overseen by the executive committee of the International Paralympic Committee. For more information, visit www.laureus.org.
Team Invacare sponsors approximately 30 wheelchair athletes and teams, including wheelchair tennis, basketball and quad rugby teams, and individual track and racing athletes.
This article originally appeared in the June 2006 issue of HME Business.