June 10, 2005 -- Three-time Olympic show jumper Kathy Kusner was welcomed as one of the newest honorees to the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame on June 8. Kusner joined fellow honorees Drew Bledsoe (Dallas Cowboys quarterback) and Louis Zamperini (1936 Olympic runner) for the induction ceremonies at the Boise Center on the Grove in Boise, Idaho. All were singled out for their efforts as role models and humanitarians at the 11th annual induction ceremonies.
"I don't need to tell you that the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame is as good as it gets," Kusner told a sold-out crowd. "I cannot thank you enough."
Kusner and her program, Horses in the Hood, caught the eye of the selection committee through continued dedication to at-risk youth. Thanks to Kusner's efforts, the South Central Los Angeles program has helped more than 450 youth learn the value of responsibility and discipline through horsemanship.
The first licensed female jockey in the United States, Kathy Kusner joined the U.S. Equestrian Team at 21 years of age and represented America in three separate Olympic Games, including the 1972 Games in Munich, where she was won the show jumping team silver medal.
Kusner also won gold and silver team medals in two Pan American Games and was a member of numerous U.S. Nations Cup teams. In 1990 Kusner was inducted into the Show Jumping Hall of Fame. In January of 2005, the West Hollywood, Calif., resident was given a Pegasus Medal of Honor by the U.S. Equestrian Federation, an award given to those "who have exhibited outstanding service to horses and the sport and who, through their dedication, have attracted people to the sport and contributed to horse sport by advancing its popularity."
The Humanitarian Hall of Fame, located on the Boise State University campus, annually inducts individuals who are world-class in athletic ability, role models in their community and have a strong record of humanitarian efforts. Since President Gerald R. Ford served as its first honorary chairman in 1994, more than 30 sports-humanitarians have been enshrined, including tennis great Arthur Ashe, major league baseball pioneer Jackie Robinson, NFL coaching legend Tom Landry and the NBA's David Robinson.
Find out more information on the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame.