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Industry Heroes Honored at 2013 Outdoor Inspiration Awards Presented by adidas Outdoor

January 24, 2013

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Chantal O’Connell
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Avery Stonich
Outdoor Industry Association

Salt Lake Cty, Utah

Industry Heroes Honored at 2013 Outdoor Inspiration Awards Presented by adidas Outdoor

Mountaineering Legend Fred Beckey Presented with Lifetime Achievement Award

Salt Lake City, Utah – Jan. 24, 2013 – Winners of the third annual Outdoor Inspiration Awards presented by adidas Outdoor were honored tonight at an awards ceremony during Outdoor Retailer Winter Market. The awards recognize individuals, groups and companies that motivate others to become active in the outdoors through their moving stories of personal achievement and an unending passion for the outdoors.

The 2013 winners are:

Bill Sweasy, CEO, Red Wing Shoe Company, in the individual category; The Sierra Club, Mission Outdoors volunteers and Soldiers to Summits for the group category; and Outdoor Afro and Suunto for the company category.

“Every winner is playing an integral role in showcasing the importance of outdoor activity,” said Greg Thomsen, managing director for adidas Outdoor North America. “In their own way, they’ve inspired others to experience the outdoors, and in many cases, changed lives forever. Sharing their experiences has made a significant difference for those they impacted and we are all grateful for their contributions to our community.”

Fred Beckey, 90, iconic mountaineer and author, was presented with a special Lifetime Achievement award. Fred completed more first ascents than any other human and has been a legendary figure in the world of mountaineering for more than 70 years.

Bill Sweasy, an avid skier and mountaineer, was awarded the individual award for his long time involvement in outdoor advocacy and with the Red Wing Environmental Learning Center (RW-ELC), a non-profit organization started by his father in 1970. RW-ELC’s major premise is to provide opportunities for young people to develop an appreciation for the environment and outdoor recreation.

The Sierra Club, Mission Outdoors Volunteers represent over 6,000 individuals that donate their time encouraging Americans to go outdoors. Since the club’s first local outing in 1901, volunteers have shared their love of nature, outdoor recreation and environmental stewardship with countless participants.

Soldiers to Summits (S2S) is a powerful program that uses mountain climbing to help injured veterans recover from the wounds of war. In S2S, mountains serve as both metaphor and training ground for stretching goals, building world-class teams, innovating through adversity and stepping up to lead and serve others.

The program integrates with the rehab process and helps soldiers restructure how they approach their past and future.

Suunto has been an industry leader in innovative, functional outdoor sports instruments especially designed for adventurers for over 76 years. Suunto’s Ambit GPS watch is the only GPS watch that can be adjusted to consumers’ evolving needs. With this watch, athletes build their own apps to measure distance and speed to more specific measurements like heart rate and pressure. The Suunto Ambit is the first ever GPS watch combining the advanced training and heavy duty outdoor features.

Outdoor Afro reconnects African-Americans with natural spaces and one another through recreational activities such as camping, hiking, biking, birding fishing, gardening, and skiing. The organization uses social media to create interest and to partner with regional and national organizations that support diverse participation in the great outdoors.

“I’ve climbed a few Beckey classics, and he stands tall in the annals of American climbing,” said Kenji Haroutunian, vice president and group show director for Outdoor Retailer. “He has inspired me and thousands of climbers to push the edges of adventure. I’ve also had the pleasure of climbing with Bill, so I’m personally honored, and on behalf of Outdoor Retailer, proud to be part of this celebration of inspiration. Recognizing exceptional leadership and the adventurous spirit is an important initiative in the industry, and the award winners’ stories will be told (and embellished) for years to come.”
About adidas Outdoor
adidas Outdoor is the athletic brand in the outdoors. The company’s founder, Adi Dassler, designed equipment solutions for athletes that improved their performance. The long history of adidas Outdoor began in the 1970’s with the creation of the first light trekking shoes. Climbing legend Reinhold Messner helped adidas design super light and fast approach hiking shoes for his first Everest ascent without supplemental oxygen in 1978. The tradition continues today with products influenced by Messner, as well as Alexander and Thomas Huber and many additional extreme outdoor adventurers from around the world.

About Outdoor Retailer
Outdoor Retailer (OR) brings together retailers, manufacturers, industry advocates and media to conduct the business of outdoor recreation through tradeshows, product demo events and web-based business solutions. Produced by Nielsen Expositions and based in San Juan Capistrano, California, Outdoor Retailer also provides and promotes retailer education, advocacy, responsibility and critical face-to-face business initiatives within the outdoor industry.

About Outdoor Industry Association
Based in Boulder, Colo., with offices in Washington, D.C., Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) is the leading trade association for the outdoor industry and the title sponsor of Outdoor Retailer. OIA supports the growth and success of more than 4,000 manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, sales representatives and retailers of outdoor recreation apparel, footwear, equipment and services.  For more information, go to or call 303.444.3353.

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