Stephen J. Wampler Nominated for ESPN’s 2011 ESPY: Male Athlete with a Disability

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Historic Climb of Yosemite’s El Capitan Earns Finalist Selection, Voting to Select the Overall Winner Now Open

The Stephen J. Wampler Foundation (http://www.wamplerfoundation.org) today announced that its founder, Steve Wampler, has been nominated for ESPN’s 2011 ESPYs in the “Male Athlete with a Disability” category. The winner will be decided by public vote (found at http://espn.go.com/espys/#!/voting/), which is open until July 9, and will be announced during the 2011 ESPYs, hosted by Seth Meyers, on July 13, 2011.

Steve has been recognized for his history-making performance when in September 2010, he became the first person with Cerebral Palsy to climb and summit Yosemite’s El Capitan. Widely considered one of the greatest challenges in rock climbing, Steve’s climb of El Capitan took place over a six day period. With limited use of his arms and no use of his legs, Steve utilized a specialized chair, which he designed himself, and used his arms to pull on a small bar attached to a pulley system. With each pull, he lifted himself four to six inches. A total of approximately 20,000 pull-ups brought him to the summit. Steve was carried back down the mountain in victory by a group of U.S. Marines. Steve’s motivation to do this climb was to raise money for the Wampler Foundation, which offers wilderness programs for children with physical disabilities. These programs are provided at no cost to the campers and their families through sponsorships and donations.

“When I set out to climb El Cap, I knew I could do it, but I never imagined the accomplishment would earn me a nomination for one of the greatest titles in all of sports” said Stephen J. Wampler, CEO and co-founder of the Wampler Foundation. “Both ESPN and the ESPYs have always gone the extra step to highlight the athletic accomplishments of the disabled community, and I am excited to take part in this special event with so many other incredible athletes—both able-bodied and disabled.”

The 2011 ESPYs commemorate the past year in sports by recognizing major sports achievements, reliving unforgettable moments, and saluting the leading performers and performances. They will be broadcast live starting at 6:00 PM PDT from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. To vote for Steve, visit http://espn.go.com/espys/#!/voting/ and select his name from the “Male Athlete with a Disability” category. No registration is required to vote. Other nominees in the category include Paralympic Alpine Ski Racer Chris Devlin-Young, Wrestler Anthony Robles, Triathlete Aaron Scheidies and Paralympic Sprinter Jerome Singleton.

To learn more about the Stephen. J. Wampler Foundation, Steve’s climb, or for additional information on how to support the Foundation through financial donations, please visit http://www.wamplerfoundation.org/.

About The Wampler Foundation

Founded in 2000, The Wampler Foundation provides outdoor recreation programs for children with physical disabilities such as Muscular Dystrophy, Cerebral Palsy, and Spina Bifida at no cost to their families. To find out more about The Wampler Foundation, and to make a donation, please visit http://www.wamplerfoundation.org/.

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Andrea Hawley or Matt Grant
Schwartz Communications for The Wampler Foundation
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