KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) – Around 1,500 attendees along with local high school state championship winners joined together to recognize National Girls and Women in Sports Day at the 30th Annual Win For KC Women’s Sports Award ceremony.
Alana Nichols, the first American woman to win gold medals at both Summer (Wheelchair Basketball) and Winter (Alpine Ski Racing) Olympic/Paralympic Games, was the keynote speaker for the 2024 Women’s Sports Awards.
Kansas City Sports Commission and Foundation President and CEO Kathy Nelson shared highlights the vast amount of women’s sports being represented in KC as to why KC is the best place for this to happen.
“Big 12 Women’s Basketball Tournament this year is moving to the week before and play that in the T-Mobile Center, MIAA Women’s Basketball Championships, of course KC Current open their new stadium a few weeks later, and we’re already working towards KC Pro Volleyball that kicks off next year,” she said. “It’s a good time to be in Kansas City, it’s a great time to be a women’s sports fan.
The sports ceremony spanning three decades is Win For KC’s biggest fundraiser they have. The money will be used for their continued efforts.
“Another success for us in breaking that barrier and welcoming everyone to celebrate,” said Nelson.
One of the six women winning an award is Helen Ortiz Turley who came to America by way of Guatemala around 30 years ago. She is a mother, stomach cancer survivor, and an international bodybuilding competition winner. She’s won multiple gold medals in the International Fitness and Bodybuilding Federation.
“Without telling every aspect of my life, but I am living the American dream now. America is great, I have had opportunities I wouldn’t have had otherwise,” she said. “I would do it all over again. Even if I had to do it, for sure.”
She’s being honored with the Lockton Courage Award. She said she didn’t know about winning the award after denying calls and emails from a person she didn’t recognize, but finally picked up the phone and saw she was the winner.
Ortiz Turley said her son is now 39 years old with a masters degree in business. As for her, the cancer impacted her ability to body build, but it didn’t stop her hard work. She looks past the scar on her stomach and continues her fitness journey.
She shared her message to the many women across the metro working towards their own goals.
“You are the only person that can hold yourself back. You’ve got to give it all you have, no matter what circumstances comes your way. Keep fighting and if you believe in it, it’s possible,” she said.
The 2024 Women’s Sports Awards program was presented by Burns & McDonnell.
Women in Sports, Win for KC Awards(KCTV 5)
2024 Women’s Sports Awards honorees:
FORVIS BE BOLD Award – Big 12 Women’s Basketball Honorary Coaches Program
Hallmark Cards Leadership Award – Kameryn Furman
Children’s Mercy Kansas City Rising Star Award – Brinley Hutson
Kissick Construction Game Changer Award – Kate Hwang
UMBFC Charitable Foundation Lifetime Sportswoman Award – Sandy Brown
Lockton Courage Award – Helen Ortiz Turley
ALSO READ: Celebrating women in sports with the KC Current
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