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Winners Announced for 2012 OIA Outdoor Inspiration Awards Presented by adidas Outdoor

January 5, 2012

Media Contact

For more information contact:
I Ling Thompson, Outdoor Industry Association,, 303.327.3531
Eleanor Sachs, CGPR,, 781.639.4924, ext. 113

Boulder, Colorado

Celebrating the rejuvenation and spirit that inspires so many people to embrace the active outdoor lifestyle, the OIA Outdoor Inspiration Awards presented by adidas Outdoor today announced the four winners voted to receive 2012 honors. The winners of the 2012 OIA Outdoor Inspiration Awards presented by adidas Outdoor are:

  • Erik Weihenmayer – PERSON
  • National Outdoor Leadership School – GROUP
  • Nantahala Outdoor Center – COMPANY
  • The North Face – COMPANY

The OIA Outdoor Inspiration Awards presented by adidas Outdoor recognize those who inspire others to appreciate and recreate in the outdoors, and the 2012 winners were selected from hundreds of moving stories of inspirational efforts from all over the world. 

Erik Weihenmayer became an accomplished mountain climber, paraglider and skier, despite losing his vision at the age of 13 with the belief that, disabled or not, you should always live your life as if there are no limits.  Alongside Erik as finalists in the People category are Marilyn Price, Founding Director, Trips for Kids and Rebecca Cohen, Author of 15 Minutes Outside: 365 Ways to get out of the House and Connect with your Kids.

National Outdoor Leadership School, the 2012 Group winner, is a non-profit group that has educated more than 200,000 students in wilderness skills and leadership, operating on the firm belief that positive, ethical leaders change the world.  Paradox Sports, an organization that helps the physically disabled to participate in human-powered outdoor sports, and Skirt Sport’s Kick Start Personal Motivator program, which pairs women with barriers to fitness with female mentors to help them train for their first 5K race, were also named finalists in the Group category out of a highly competitive field of nominations.

Since it first opened as a small rafting company on the banks of the Nantahala River, Small Company category winner Nantahala Outdoor Center has worked to inspire and encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to get outside, be active, and improve their lifestyles by enjoying the outdoors.  Additional finalists, selected from dozens of nominations in the category, included Boardworks, a company that strives to make stand-up paddle more fun for more people, and Nevado Mountain Adventures, which offers consumers the opportunity to try new ski gear on their own terms at special demos at the nation’s resorts.

Large Company winner The North Face pushes the boundaries of innovation and design so that outdoor enthusiasts can push the boundaries of exploration, all while committing itself to protecting and preserving outdoor playgrounds and engaging communities in outdoor efforts.  KEEN, recognized for their light-hearted “Recess is Back” campaign, and Merrell, with their welcome encouragement of outdoor adventures, were also named finalists in this category.

Hundreds of business and outdoor leaders will gather at the Capitol Theatre in Salt Lake City during the evening of Friday, January 20, 2012, at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market, one of the largest annual gatherings of outdoor-involved companies, to recognize each of these inspiring influencers affecting outdoor recreation today.  World-renowned mountaineer Reinhold Messner and 2011 International Federation of Sport Climbing World Champion Sasha DiGiulian will act as the official emcees of the OIA Outdoor Inspiration Awards ceremony, and share their motivations and how they “pay it forward.”  For more information on the OIA Outdoor Inspiration Awards celebration, visit

Event Details
Friday, January 20, 2012 – 6:00-8:00 pm
Capitol Theatre – 50 W 200 S., Salt Lake City
Doors – 6:00 pm
Presentation – 6:20 pm
Reception – 7:15 pm

Outdoor Industry Association
Based in Boulder, CO, Outdoor Industry Association® 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

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. adidas Outdoor began in the 1970’s with the creation of the first light trekking shoe for climbing legend Reinhold Messner for his first Everest ascent without oxygen in 1978. That tradition continues today with products influenced by Messner and Alexander and Thomas Huber, the extraordinary brothers who consistently inspire the climbing community with their bold adventures in a unique style that is light and fast.