For Leadership, Sportsmanship and InspirationFor a person or group of people who have demonstrated leadership, integrity and sportsmanship during the past year and positively influenced and inspired others to be better sportsmen or sportswomen.

Hannah Halvorsen, Olympic Nordic skier
Halverson, of Anchorage, competed at the 2022 Olympics as a sprinter two years after sustaining life-threatening injuries upon being struck by a car while crossing a road in downtown Anchorage. At age 21, she suffered a traumatic brain injury and many broken bones and worked her way back to the highest level of her sport. “It means you can do anything if you just take one step at a time, and if you have enough people who support you,” she said.

Andrew Kurka, Paralympic Alpine skier
Kurka, of Palmer, was nominated for his sportsmanship, integrity, grit, grind and volunteerism. “He has overcome obstacles with poise, grace, a smile and a grateful heart,” his nomination read. Kurka won two medals at the 2018 Paralympics. He broke two bones shortly before competing in the men’s sitting downhill at the 2022 Paralympics and still finished fourth.

Mareng Gatkuoth, South Sudan Basketball National Team member
Gatkuoth, of Anchorage, helped South Sudan reach the quarterfinals of the FIBA Africa Championships for the first time in 2021. The civil war-torn nation of South Sudan gained its independence in 2011. Gatkuoth also helped South Plains College reach the NJCAA Elite Eight before in 2021 before he transferred to Division 1 Montana State University.

Previous winners (most recent first): Billy Strickland, Israel Hale, Andy Beardsely and Larsen Klingel, DaJonee Hale, Damen Bell-Holter, Laci Effenberger, Aliy Zirkle, Marko Cheseto, Paul Tandy, Chugiak High School football team

The Directors’ Awards winners will be announced from the lists of finalists in each category on the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame Facebook Live page at 3pm AK Time on Wednesday, April 6th.

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