New York, NY, July 20, 2009 --(PR.com
)-- First-ever Male Triathlete Takes Home Coveted ESPY Award
Ultraman Jason Lester Upsets Heavy Favorite for Best Male Athlete With a Disability
The thought of actually winning the coveted ESPY Award never really entered the mind of Ultraman triathlete Jason Lester as he sat in his seat at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles during the 2009 ESPY Award show.
Lester had walked the red carpet with celebrity athletes and movie stars and was happy to be nominated in his category of Best Male Athlete With A Disability. It seemed like a foregone conclusion South African track star and Beijing Paralympic gold medalist Oscar Pistorius would leave that night with the award.
“When I heard my name I was in a state-of-shock,” said Lester, 35, a resident of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. “I didn’t even prepare a speech I was so sure I wouldn’t need one.”
Lester’s story, like other athletes who have overcome hardships to achieve at the highest level, is even more amazing because he competes in some of the most grueling events in the world – Ironman triathlons, Ultraman triathlons – with a paralyzed right arm.
After being abandoned by his abusive and alcoholic mother at 3-years-old and separated from his older brother because of foster care, Lester went to live with his biological father who instilled in him a passion for sports. By 12 years-old, Lester had developed into a skilled athlete living in Phoenix. But it was on Halloween in 1987 that life changed forever when he was hit by a car and suffered 21 broken bones, a collapsed lung and injuries that paralyzed his right arm.
And if that wasn’t enough, soon after his accident Lester lost his best friend and hero when his father died at age 39.
Inspired by his late father and undaunted, Lester became a star athlete in high school in running and biathlon events. His fervor was so strong during that time that he competed in 50 races including 5K, 10K and marathon races and was ranked second in the state of Arizona. From there he attended Arizona State University but took time off from his athletic life because of injuries.
Lester renewed his athletic passion when he visited the Big Island of Hawaii in 2004 and witnessed the Hawaiian Ironman Championship. From there, he became energized in body and spirit at the spectacle of the triathlon and its athletes. His first triathlon was the Ironman Arizona race and he went on to compete at the ITU World Championships (International Triathlon Union), Western Australia Ironman, Ironman World Championships, Ultraman Canada and Ultraman World Championships where he placed 24th among 33 able-bodied triathletes.
Lester also has made it one of his missions to dedicate his life to motivating others to overcome adversity through his work with The Never Stop Foundation. Lester’s foundation promotes the improvement of children and adults through athletics by virtue of a strong mental, physical and spiritual life. Lester also has embarked on the creation of the Adult Stem Cell Research Movement (ASCRM) in hopes of building public awareness to technology that could help improve the lives of others afflicted from spinal cord injuries and disease.
Jason Lester is available for interviews by contacting Lions Roar Public Relations, (646) 996-5316.
For more information on Jason Lester’s career, biography and foundation, go to www.jasonplester.com.
Lions Roar Public Relations