May 26, 2024


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Air Force names 2020 Athletes of the Year > U.S. Air Force > Article Display


The Air Force’s 2020 Male and Female Athletes of the Year both hail from Wright-Patterson Air Pressure Foundation.

Capt. Amber Hansen, commander of World-wide Actions Squadron Detachment 4 at the Countrywide Air and Place Intelligence Centre, and Airman 1st Course Michael Mannozzi, who performs in Spiritual Affairs at the 88th Air Base Wing Chaplain’s Workplace, competed versus other extremely-certified athletes throughout the Air Drive for the prestigious award.

Every calendar year, the Air Drive recognizes one male and feminine military member for their athletic achievements. Each individual set up nominates candidates by publishing offers that emphasize their best athlete’s sports-connected achievements, navy awards and civic recognition from the past calendar yr.

Hansen’s highlights consist of:
-Finished 1st out of 20 competitors in a national powerlifting function, winning greatest over-all and placing two U.S. documents in squat/complete with a mark of 1,284 lbs .
-Chosen for worldwide qualifier and earned U.S. Powerlifting Association elite position in squat, bench and deadlift, position 23 among 1,317 users and prime 8% globally
-Skilled for Workforce Usa in two excess weight courses, earning top rated 3 in outfitted and best 10 amongst uncooked lifters, getting to be the only female to achieve equally

“I had no strategy that this award essentially existed until eventually a couple of decades in the past, but as soon as I identified out about it, I required to gain it,” Hansen stated. “I submitted packages for it a number of moments, so I was so thrilled to see that I gained this calendar year.”

Hansen has been powerlifting considering that 2014 but did not start competing right until 2016, when she found her training residence at a nearby health club in Dayton.

“I practice 4 periods a week for a couple of hrs just about every, so at this point it is ingrained in my schedule and second character,” she mentioned. “I like chasing quantities and besting myself, so that by itself motivates me to get in the health club and get my function accomplished.”

Hansen is not only pushed to succeed in powerlifting. She also aims to be the best Airmen and leader she can be.

“I belief her to command one of my geographically-separated units, and she has completed a phenomenal job of taking her detachment to the next stage,” claimed Lt. Col. Stanley Wong, NASIC Global Routines Squadron commander. “I have regarded her for about five a long time now and recognize how much she puts into powerlifting I viewed her compete at the 2021 Kern U.S. Open up a few months back again by way of a YouTube streaming feed, and she was just awe-inspiring.”

Other than motivating herself to get much better, Hansen states she enjoys the strategy of supporting some others arrive at their ambitions as well so they can possibly have the exact same possibilities.

“I have a great deal of people supporting me, training me and assisting me do properly in the activity, so being ready to pass that understanding on makes this journey fulfilling,” she extra.

Mannozzi was acknowledged for the next achievements:

-Put sixth at the 50K Race Wander Olympics with a time of 5 hrs, 2 minutes, 1 second
-Put second at the America’s Premiere Walking Typical 10K with a time of 56:52
-Earned 35th in the World Athletics Worldwide rankings and no. 6 nationally with a personalized-best time of 5:02.01
-Attained top 10 countrywide rankings in 20K and 50K Race Wander Olympic distances for the 11th consecutive 12 months
Not extensive after Mannozzi was awarded 2020 Male Athlete of the Yr, he was supplied the closing entry into the Olympic trials for the 20K Race Walk in Eugene, Oregon. Although he did not make the U.S. crew, Mannozzi broke a several barriers when he was there, these types of as:

-Started out in very last for the race’s 1st 15% (3 laps) and then moved up — passing 20% of the subject, which includes a two-time Olympian — to finish in 12th, the maximum-area advancement amid any of the rivals
-Had the premier margin of time advancement of any competitor in the two the men’s and women’s field
-Only Air Force athlete to contend in two gatherings at the Olympic trials (The initial staying the 50K in 2020, and now the 20K)
-Only enlisted athlete to contend at the Olympic team trials
-Initial Chaplain Corps member to ever compete in the United states of america Olympic staff trials

“Being picked as Air Drive Male Athlete of the Yr is the best athletic recognition of my everyday living, and humbling to know that I depict the United States Air Drive,” Mannozzi explained. “This honor is recognition of my hard operate and excellent aid from caring individuals, and I am grateful for the reason that I could not have achieved this devoid of assist from others.”

When in Oregon, Mannozzi obtained loads of help from WPAFB personnel. Some came from the Air Power Marathon Workplace. He’s competed in the yearly marathon and aided kick-get started a new race walking class.

“Our romantic relationship with A1C Mannozzi commenced ahead of he was an Airman back again in 2019,” mentioned Brandon Hough, Air Force Marathon director. “He is a tenacious competitor who has risen to the major of his sport through a relentless travel to be the best he can be.

He under no circumstances after allows the truth that he is a national class race walker inhibit lifting many others up and regularly encourages walkers and runners of all qualities. He is not just an fantastic ambassador of race going for walks, he is an superb ambassador of the U.S. Air Pressure as he upholds our core values in his sporting pursuits, his individual lifestyle and when he arrives to work each working day.”

Mannozzi mentioned he finds commitment to race walk as a result of a fruits of things, which include preventing other’s expectations of his focus-deficit hyperactivity disorder, staying a father and proving to his two autistic sons they can go any limitation, remaining a partner to his supportive wife, and dwelling for both of those himself and his late father, who handed absent when he was 14.

“I lavished the thought of race strolling mainly because I understood it was my ticket to a far better daily life,” he claimed. “I realized it would make myself improved and increase my weaknesses that have plagued me for several years. … Race going for walks represents so considerably of who I am. After my father handed, I truly wished to do something significant with the time I have in my existence.”

Along with winning the Air Power award, Mannozzi also requires every single option to help other individuals and be an ambassador to the activity, no matter whether he is instructing Airmen on foundation or athletes in Bermuda on behalf of the Usa Observe and Industry Race Walk workforce.

“He holds himself to a high degree of professionalism, engagement, and has a massive coronary heart for people,” claimed Col. Kim Bowen, 88 ABW chaplain. “He not only epitomizes what the Chaplain Corps represents, but he also conjures up us all by what he does.”

Leaders and colleagues say Hansen and Mannozzi’s athletic achievements, and other attributes epitomize what it means to be an Airman.