Jennifer Kilinski, a lawyer with Hopping Green & Sams, is one of six national winners of the first national multi-sport awards granted by USA Triathlon, the national governing body for triathlon.
Kilinski, 33 and the mother of two children, has been named the winner of the 2011 Jeff Jewell Spirit Award, named in honor of a long-time massage therapist for the USA triathlon team, who died from brain cancer in 2010. Kilinski was nominated by her peers.
The citation from the 150,000-member USA Triathlon was announced on Feb. 7 and reads: “An inspiration to Florida’s triathletes, Jennifer Kilinski loves to compete, inspire and encourage others who have faced adversity.”
Kilinski has been participating in triathlons since 2001. A triathlon includes three events to be performed by the same participant in a single day – swimming, biking and running.
“I am truly humbled and honored to receive this award. I only hope I can live up to what it embodies and what I understand Jeff Jewell’s life to mean – I take the responsibility very seriously.” Kilinski said. “Triathlon is much more than a sport to me – it is a way of life and a means by which to empower others, young and old, to do things they never dreamed possible, both physically and mentally.”
The nominations from throughout the U.S. were reviewed by USA Triathlon. National awards were presented in five other categories. Eligibility criteria for the Jeff Jewell Spirit Award are:
- 1. Trains and races on a consistent basis in the sports of triathlon, duathlon, aquabike, Paratriathlon or other areas of multisport.
- 2. Gives back to the sport outside of competitions and is considered a role model to other athletes.
- 3. Preference will be extended to those individuals who coach and/or volunteer to help develop youth multisport programming in local communities – (i.e., Clubs, YMCA’s, Recreation Facilities, and Park Leagues).
Kilinski will officially receive the Jeff Jewell Spirit Award at USA Triathlon’s Athlete of the Year Celebration in Burlington, VT on August 16, 2012.
Kilinski also received the Gulfwinds Track Club Triathlete of the Year Award in January, 2012 and recently incorporated the Kids Who Tri Foundation, a foundation aimed at providing support to healthy kids initiatives.