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Swimming great Amy Van Dyken will be the featured speaker at the 1th Annual Celebrating Women's Athletics Luncheon on Feb. 22 at the Events Center.
Olympic champion Amy Van Dyken to speak at Women’s Athletics Luncheon
January 15, 2016Tweet
The Binghamton Bearcats Athletic Association (BBAA) will host the 11th Annual Celebrating Women’s Athletics Luncheon presented by M&T Bank at noon Monday, Feb. 22, at the Events Center.
Held each year to recognize the achievements of Binghamton University’s female student-athletes, the luncheon also raises funding for scholarships awarded to female student-athletes at Binghamton University. This year, former Olympic swimming champion and world record holder Amy Van Dyken will be the featured speaker.
At the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta, Van Dyken became the first American female athlete to win four gold medals in a single Olympiad. Four years later, she captured two more gold medals at the Sydney Olympics. In between those two performances, Van Dyken won three gold medals at the 1998 World Championships, which were held in Perth, Australia.
Following the Atlanta Games, Van Dyken was named the 1996 Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year. She was also named the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) Sports Woman of the Year and was selected as one of the 25 most influential females in sports by Women’s Sports and Fitness Magazine.
Van Dyken swam for the University of Arizona her first two years of college (1991 and 1992), where she was a 12-time All-American. Prior to her junior year, she transferred to Colorado State University. In her senior year (1994), she was named the NCAA Female Swimmer of the Year.
In 2007, Van Dyken was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame. One year later, she was inducted into the Olympic Hall of Fame.
In June of 2014, she was injured in an ATV accident and severed her spinal cord leaving her paralyzed from the waist down. Since then, she has been working hard rehabbing and making great strides towards her goal of walking again.
Van Dyken is the latest of an impressive group of guest speakers who have come to Binghamton for the Celebrating Women’s Athletics Luncheon. She is preceded by Rebecca Lobo (2015), Jennie Finch (2014), Shannon Miller (2013), Amanda Beard (2012), Julie Foudy (2011), Kara Lawson (2010) and Jessica Mendoza (2009).
Since 2006, the Celebrating Women’s Athletics Luncheon has raised more than $200,000 to support the BBAA Women’s Scholarship Fund. The scholarships were established in 2007, and are awarded annually to two female student-athletes. The luncheon began in 2006, with just 75 attendees, and is today one of the Athletics Department’s primary fundraisers. In 2015, more than 500 guests attended the event.
Luncheon attendees will have the opportunity to meet current Bearcat student-athletes and coaches from the women’s teams and to hear them speak about the role athletics has played in their development, careers and life. In addition, guests will have the chance to bid on several auction items with all proceeds going toward the BBAA Women’s Scholarship Fund.
The luncheon, which is open to the public, is held each February as part of a series of national celebratory events surrounding National Girls and Women in Sports Day (NGWSD), which began in 1986. The purpose of NGWSD is to honor the achievements of all female athletes and recognize the positive influence of sports participation. Tickets for the event are $50 and table sponsorships are $600.