Vincent Award

Vincent Award #68: Ben Lecomte

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In 1988 Ben Lecomte swam his way into the history books to become the first person to swim across the Atlantic Ocean. Last week he started another swim, except this time he is going to cross the Pacific Ocean. He is also doing this for a cause...to help save our oceans. Ben and his team are partnering with 27 research institutions to collect over 1000 samples of water and specimens along the path of his swim.

“The mission of my historic swim is to bring to light the current state of our oceans...The research we collect during ‘The Swim’ will ultimately help us better protect our oceans and I’m excited to partner with Seeker and Discovery to bring this expedition and our findings to the world.”

This is a 5,500 mile swim from Choshi, Japan to San Francisco and he will be doing it by swimming 8 hours ever day and then sleep on a boat during the night. He will be wearing a special suit which will protext him from the frigid waters and his boat will be using technology to help repel the sharks, but this is still a very dangerous swim.

Seeker and Discovery are partnering to cover this epic swim by both live-streaming his progress on thelongswim.com and by creating a documentary about it called "The Swim" which will be released in 2019.

Congratulations Ben Lecomte for becoming the next Vincent Award recipient. The Vincent Award was, after all, named after Vincent's famous swim in Gattaca so it only seemed fitting. Good luck Ben...

Read more about Ben's swim by reading the article over at the Good News Network and be sure to visit thelongswim.com for daily updates on his progress.

Vincent Award #67: Justin Gallegos

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Vincent Award #67 goes to Justin Gallegos because on April 29, 2018 he crossed the finish line of the Eugene Half Marathon in Eugene, Oregon. But lots of people run a half marathon so what makes Justin's run so special? Justin has cerebral palsy, a neurological disorder that affects muscle coordination and body movement. Cerebral palsy makes walking (much less running) nearly impossible so a half marathon is down right incredible.

Gallegos had to rewire his body to run. He dragged his feet a lot, which caused him to fall. So he had to learn an entirely different way to move his body, forcing himself to pick up his feet and lift his knees more. Over time, he was able to strengthen his muscles, improve his coordination and fix his gait to the point where he no longer needed those kneepads.

Congratulations Justin and thank you for inspiring us all to keep pushing just a litte bit harder.

Read Justin's full story over at CNN.com...

Vincent Award #66: James Harrison

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It has been nearly 3 years since I have given out a "Vincent Award" (check out my "about" page for more info on the award), but when I came across this news article I just knew that this man's selfless acts needed to be commended. So Vincent Award #66 goes to the Australian James Harrison. James' blood contains a very rare antibody that is needed to formulate a medication called "Anti-D"...which is needed to save babies from a disease called Rheses disease. More than 2 million babies have been saved by Anti-D since 1967 and people like James Harrison have helped make that happen (James has been donating his blood for 60 years).

What this story points out for me is that we are each given unique gifts and it is up to us to decide if we share these gifts or waste them. James chose the former. Thank you James.

Check out the full article over at the New York Times...

Vincent Award #65: Chris Ring

This week's Vincent Award goes to Chris Ring. Chris is a Navy veteran who has taken on the challenge of swimming the entire length of the Mississippi river (2,552 miles) over a 6-month period as a way to honor fallen veterans and their families. Chris has chosen to do this as a way to support an organization called Legacies Alive. Chris is only a few weeks into his 6-month swim. He swims an average of 16 miles a day at a pace of around 4 mph. The rest of the day he spends connecting with families of fallen veterans along the way.

Good luck Chris. Not only did you serve our country in the armed forces but you continue to serve by giving the families that lost a loved one hope and someone they can connect with.

Check out the video below and the Legacies Alive website.

Vincent Award #64: Seana Hogan

 (Photo from Seana Hogan's Facebook page)

(Photo from Seana Hogan's Facebook page)

This week's Vincent Award goes to Seana Hogan. Seana Hogan is a 56 year-old woman who is entering her 9th Race Across America (RAAM) this year. RAAM is exactly what it says it is, an all out 24-hour a day 10 day long bicycle race across the United States (over 3000 miles long). RAAM is considered one of the world's most grueling endurance event on the planet.

It takes a special kind of person to attempt RAAM once, let alone outright win the women's division 6 times with her best year being a 3rd place overall finish (including the men). This year she is one of 5 women entering RAAM.

Good luck Seana!

Read more about Seana and the injury she overcame recently so she could enter this year's RAAM event at The Sacramento Bee.

Also, check out Seana's website.

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