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Kristin Caperton Inspiration Award




2016 Kristin Caperton award winner.


Does your team include a decathlete who has overcome great challenges and has inspired others?   See below how the USAD "village" can honor those accomplishments.



The Kristin Caperton Inspiration Awards are given by the USAD Board of Directors to student decathletes who demonstrate a high degree of dedication and performance in the face of difficult challenges and circumstances. The Board welcomes nominations from USAD coaches during the course of each competition year for two separate awards. The national award is presented during the banquet of the USAD National competition in the spring, and a decathlete whose team did not attend Nationals may be honored at a school event. This includes participants in the online competition.

During the competition's first four years, Kristin Caperton successfully obtained the financial backing required by "selling tables" to the banquet from her hospital bed. A life-threatening diagnosis of leukemia and diabetes did not deter her from providing the greatly needed support. The award has attained added significance in recognition of the inspirational nominees and individual recipients of this honor.

Often the winner of the Caperton Award has been an important catalyst in her or his team's strong performance during the USAD competition. Some winners have successes in USAD despite significant physical and/or emotional challenges.  Meeting these courageous students who have overcome blindness, deafness, and debilitating or terminal illnesses, has been an inspirational moment of the banquet.  The first recipient set a high standard. An alternate on the Louisiana team, he walked door to door to raise money for his teammates to travel to Nationals---in a full body cast on crutches! Some examples of previous winners include the following:

1. A blind decathlete successfully competed and, in the process, pioneered techniques allowing other students to do so.

2. A student with Stage 3 Hodgkin's Lymphoma disease remained devoted to the USAD while undergoing aggressive chemotherapy.

3. Both winners one year were foster children, and both were feted at the banquet thanks to the coach providing transportation.

4. Despite severe visual problems from juvenile macular degeneration, a student was the highest scorer overall in the small school honor category.

5. A disadvantaged decathlete overcame homelessness, abuse, neglect, and life-threatening medical problems to become the rock of his team. He expressed his joy by doing cartwheels in the hotel lobby.

6. Even with a pathological speech disorder, a participant was selected for speech showcase.  She presented the award to another Caperton winner in a subsequent year with a flawless delivery.  She is now a lawyer with the Department of Education's disability unit.

In addition to the prestige, the award includes a plaque and $1,500 from the USAD Board of Directors. To nominate a decathlete, coaches should complete a nomination form by clicking on the link below and submitting that form to awards@usad.org by the deadline.

NOMINATION FORM