Past Winners

Amy Palmiero-Winters, 80th Annual AAU Sullivan Award Winner

Amy Palmiero-Winters, 80th Annual AAU Sullivan Award Winner

Sport:  Ultramarathon

Hometown:  Hicksville, NY

Biography: Amy Palmiero-Winters won the Arizona Road Racers 24 hours run to the Future (130.4 miles), finishing first place overall, beating all able-bodied male and female entrants. She also placed first overall the Might Electric Ultracentric (100 mile race), first place overall female in the Heartland (100 mile race), 4th place in the NorthFace Endurance Challenge Madison, WI (50 mile trail run) and NorthFace Endurance Challenge Bear Mountain (50 mile trail run) finished 9th place.

In the 50 mile trail run NorthFace Challenge in Washington D.C., this mother of two placed 13th and 22nd in San Francisco with a time of 11:25:26. She completed the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon on June 14, 2009 with a time 3:45:56, and competed in the Ironman Malaysia March of 2009.

Amy set world records for amputee women in the 50k, 50mi, 100k, 100 mi and 24 hours runs. She is a phenomenal athlete, regardless of whether she is an amputee or not. Her status as a trailblazer was made clearer than ever in 2009, when she raced more often than ever in order to qualify for various championship races.

Among her other accomplishments in 2009: first amputee to qualify for Western States 100 mile ultra marathon, first amputee to run the Mount Washington Uphill Road Race, named one of the top ten runners of the decade in the world by the Washington Times and named USATF athlete of the week October 12, 2009.




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The Award

Known as the "Oscar" of sports awards and older than The Heisman, the AAU Sullivan Award honors the outstanding amateur athlete in the United States. It has been presented annually by the AAU since 1930 as a salute to founder and past president of the Amateur Athletic Union, and pioneer in amateur sports, James E. Sullivan. Based on the qualities of leadership, character, sportsmanship, and the ideals of amateurism, the AAU Sullivan Award goes far beyond athletic accomplishments and honors those who have shown strong moral character.


The AAU was founded in 1888 to establish standards and uniformity in amateur sports. During its early years, the AAU served as a leader in international sport representing the U.S. in the international sports federations. The AAU worked closely with the Olympic movement to prepare athletes for the Olympic games. After the Amateur Sports Act of 1978, the AAU has focused its efforts into providing sports programs for all participants of all ages beginning at the grass roots level. The philosophy of "Sports for All, Forever," is shared by over 700,000 participants and over 150,000 volunteers.
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