The Athletes with Disabilities Network (ADN) announced its 2013 Hall of Fame inductees at a ceremony and awards dinner on October 24, in Detroit, Michigan. The Hall of Fame recognizes the achievements of men and women who compete in sports at the elite level despite physical disabilities. According to the ADN, chosen athletes are honored for both their dedication to sport and for inspiring others through their words, actions, and community service.
Matt Perkins is the ADN National Hall of Fame Inductee. Perkins was born with proximal femoral focal deficiency (PFFD), which led to a left transfemoral amputation. He was on the U.S. Disabled Ski Team from 1997-2000 and he competed at the 1998 Winter Paralympics in Nagano, Japan. In 2001, he retired from skiing and raced his first triathlon. He took up the sport more seriously in 2004 and continued through 2010. In 2012, he came out of a two-year retirement to return to triathlon. He took third place at the 2012 World Triathlon Grand Final Auckland, New Zealand, and tenth place at the World Triathlon Grand Final London, England, in September-both in the Paratriathlon Male Tri-2 division.
Paddy Rossbach, RN, was honored with the Rick Knas Lifetime Achievement Award. Rossbach lost her lower left leg when she was six years old after being struck by a military truck. She is an advocate for individuals with amputations. She was actively involved in the Amputee Coalition from the 1990s until she retired from her position as president and CEO of the organization in 2008. Among her many accomplishments are the establishment of the coalition’s youth camp, which was named in her honor; the standardization of the coalition’s peer visitor training and expansion of the network; and forging ties with the U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to help them develop their own peer training programs. She has won numerous awards and accolades.
Jeremy Campbell was named the Roger McCarville Male Athlete of the Year. Campbell was born with congenital bowing of his tibia and without his right fibula; he underwent a right transtibial amputation when he was one year old. Among his most recent achievements are the gold medals he won in discus at the 2012 U.S. Paralympic Track & Field Trials, Indianapolis, Indiana, and at the 2012 Paralympic World Championships, Lyon, France. At the 2012 London Paralympic Games, England, he threw the discus 60.19 meters, which earned him his third Paralympic gold medal and a world record. A few months later, he broke his own record by throwing the discus 63.46 meters. He is the only Paralympic discus thrower to surpass the 60-meter mark. Campbell was also named the 2013 ESPY Best Male Athlete with a Disability.
Other inductees include Tatyana McFadden as the Pat McDonald Female Athlete of the Year Award and Jesus Villa as the Mark “Doc” Andrews Rising Star Award. Special recognition was given to the 2013 National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA) Division III National Champions, Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan’s Detroit Diehards.