In London on Wednesday (15 February), a 14-year-old girl from the American town of Scottsdale, Arizona won a top international award for bravery in sport.
In London on Wednesday (15 February), a 14-year-old girl from the American town of Scottsdale, Arizona won a top international award for bravery in sport. She was young athlete Kathy Miller, who got the "Valour in Sport" gold wreath for overcoming brain damage sustained in a car accident and returning to athletics.
SYNOPSIS: Eleven months ago Kathy Miller was a promising athlete in Arizona. That was until she was hit by a car on a busy inter-section. As a result of the accident, she was taken to hospital with multiple fractures and severe brain injuries.
Kathy lay in a coma for 10 weeks and for a month after could hardly communicate. Five months later, however, encouraged by her parents, she had recovered sufficiently to compete in a 10,000 metre race.
Kathy's entry in the race, which she finished, amazed her doctors. After the accident they had predicted that she would be a vegetable for the rest of her life.
London's Guildhall on Wednesday (15 February) was packed for the presentation of the award and both Kathy and her parents were on hand to hear the results. This year, 10 people had made the final list.
The determined young athlete from Arizona, however, was selected by the judges for the gold laurel wreath. She now joins the ranks of the sporting elite, including sportsmen like the Austrian racing driver Niki Lauda, who won the bravery award last year for his comeback after coming close to death in a Grand Prix smash.
This is not the only bravery trophy that Kathy has won. After her participation in the 10,000 metres event in Arizonia, she was given a similar honour.
The judges' decision was obviously a popular one, and Kathy Miller overcame her shyness to make a speech of thanks. Already, she is planning a new challenge. At the end of this year she hopes to take part in a much longer race back in Phoenix...a marathon of 26 miles (42 kilometres).