JOHN DAVIS (2017)
In college, John Davis was an NCAA All-American swimmer and USA National team member. In 1991 he led the University of North Carolina to three ACC swimming and diving championships and won 11 individual ACC crowns – the most in conference history. Additionally, he trained and tried out for the 1988 and 1992 Olympic Teams.
In 2014, John went from having total mastery over his body to being at its mercy when he began suffering the effects of motor neuron disease, which causes degeneration of the nerves that control muscle function. Instead of being effortless, movement was painful, and sometimes impossible.
Rather than resign himself to a smaller life, John decided to use his experience to connect to the at-risk youth he works with as a certified addiction counselor and founder of the non-profit foundation, 2Xtreme.
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JUDY ABRAHAMS (2016)
Ten years ago Abrahams was in a bike-car collision that ultimately led to the amputation of her leg, but she never gave up and has been an inspiration to everyone around her.
“The bad days don’t last forever,” said Abrahams, a two-time PC division XTERRA World Champion. “You have to look forward to good days, and when you’re having a good day take advantage of it. Get outside, get a hold of your friends and do something fun.”
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DAVE DESANTIS (2015)
In the summer of 2013, Desantis was diagnosed with stage 3C melanoma. He was told he had at most, a year to live. He tried every available remedy and medication over the next year, and finally his grapefruit sized tumors shrank – and miraculously, were gone just a few months short of the 2014 World Championship.
He raced at XTERRA Worlds in Maui last year with his niece Rachel, who was instrumental in his care and getting him ready to race.
“My favorite XTERRA memory was laying in the medical tent, receiving an IV, at last year’s Worlds and hearing the announcer say: Rachael Desantis is sprinting to the finish in her first XTERRA Worlds!”
CHRISTOPHE MAURY (2014)
You might recognize him for his black racing kit and red socks. You have likely seen him at the finish line, jumping high in the air with his legs behind him and hands held high. You will most certainly recognize his bright blue eyes and inviting smile. And this year, you’ll see him on the top step of the XTERRA European Tour 45-49 podium.
He is Christophe Maury, aka the “Frenchman”, a nickname given to him by XTERRA managing director Dave Nicholas, who was surprised to discover a French man who spoke only English around him. Dave started calling him the Frenchman every time he saw him, then others did as well, and finally Christophe adopted the name and branded his Facebook page “The Frenchman XTERRA Triathlete”.
RON HILL (2013)
In Hawaii, our kupuna – our elders – are highly esteemed. They are our guides and our mentors. They are treasured and honored for their wisdom and life experience.
XTERRA is fortunate to have a strong group of kupuna -18 men and women 65 and older that raced in the World Championship in Maui. XTERRA’s kupuna exemplify our “live more” creedo and inspire us to do more and be more.
Between them they hold numerous national championship and world championship titles. All of these athletes deserve our support and applause – however, one of them is deserving of a little extra attention.
Just a year ago at the XTERRA World Championship, our 2013 XTERRA Warrior Award Winner had a bad mountain bike crash on the downhill and crushed his pelvis. It’s not an easy injury to recover from, not when you’re 30, and definitely not when you’re 75-years-old.
He went from racing on Maui to a medevac flight to Oahu where he spent weeks prone in a hospital bed. He graduated to a wheelchair and then to a walker – and was walking unassisted by the end of February 2013. It wasn’t overnight, it wasn’t easy, but he did it.
BEN ALLEN & JACQUI SLACK (2012)
After catching an XTERRA event on TV last year, a 27-year-old surfer and ITU circuit racer from Australia, turned the XTERRA mantra “Live More” into a personal challenge. To face it, he packed his bags and hit the road, competing in nearly every international XTERRA championship race on the schedule – New Zealand, Italy, Brazil, France, Czech, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, and the U.S.
An exceptional swimmer as a result of countless hours spent in the water winning Aussie surf lifesaving competitions, he was first out of the water in nearly every race he did. In the Amazon in June, 2011, he not only was first out of the water, but also first across the finish line to capture the XTERRA Brazil Championship.
While the win was his best result of the 2011 season that resulted in several podium finishes and a sixth place ranking on last year’s XTERRA European Tour, his biggest catch of the World Tour came on the romantic Italian island of Sardinia. That’s where he met a British firefighter by trade, who also loved surfing, traveling, and meeting new people.
She proved to be a worthy off-road triathlete as well, having just finished fourth in the XTERRA Italy Championship behind three well-known, accomplished XTERRA pros.
This year, the two joined forces in their personal XTERRA World Tour…which included ten XTERRA Championships, more than 60,000 kilometers of travel, as the crow flies, and the pursuit of a double dream – World Champion.
The Dynamic Duo of Ben Allen and Jacqui Slack started their tour in the Western Pacific with the “XTERRA Triple Crown” of Guam, Saipan and the Philippines. From there to Blue Lake in Rotorua, New Zealand….back to Europe for all five events of the XTERRA European Tour…to Utah for the XTERRA USA Championship and culminating here at XTERRA Worlds on Maui.
Through it all, Ben and Jacqui have “Lived More”- perpetuated the XTERRA spirit, challenged themselves, discovered new places and made friends across the globe. They are fuelled by the same dream to be the best and live life to the fullest…so it is our great pleasure to recognize Ben Allen and Jacqui Slack as the 2012 XTERRA Warrior award winners.