Today is a very special day in our family. My brother, Marty will be presented with a very prestigious award at the University of Illinois. I could not be prouder of anyone, and he is so deserving. I would love to be there but can not get time off from my job right now as I have a long vacation coming up soon. We will all be with him in spirit and he has a huge contingent of his wife, Karen's family to celebrate the day.
Also, a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my sister Margaret up in Waterloo, Ontario! Wish I could be with you, too.....lots of love coming your way, though.
2009 Harold Scharper Humanitarian Award
Martin I. Morse, BS '84, MS '87
Olympic and Paralympic Coach
University of Illinois
Martin Morse is the recipient of the 2009 Harold Scharper Humanitarian Award. A former award-winning wheelchair athlete in track and field, roadracing, and basketball, Mr. Morse completed both bachelor's and master's degrees in kinesiology at the University of Illinois. He has coached both Olympic and Paralympic wheelchair athletes, counting among his many accomplishments his service as assistant technical director of wheelchair track exhibition events at the 1984 Olympic Games, head coach of the American delegation in the 1990 and 1991 Goodwill Games, and head coach of U.S. wheelchair track and field teams in the 1988 and 1992 Paralympics. He served as head coach of the Team Ghana Track Camp, held at the University of Illinois in 2000 and 2004, and has been a volunteer consultant on a variety of national and international athlete training systems and programs. He developed a composite glove technology to enhance performance and prevent injury of wheelchair athletes, and introduced the sport of handcycling as off-season training to maintain upper body strength. Mr. Morse collaborated with Adam Bleakney, who is now head coach of wheelchair track, field, and racing at Illinois, to build the first aerodynamic model of a racing wheelchair using high-tech carbon fiber and mylar. The working model was unveiled at the 2002 Boston Marathon. He went on to serve as a consultant on wind tunnel research and development of racing wheelchairs for the Center for Sports Innovation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Marty continues to inspire everyone he meets, and best of all he is an amazing father to Steven and Sam!