Greenwich’s Dixon named Chelsea Cohen Courage Award winner by Sports Commission

The Fairfield County Sports Commission today announced that Greenwich resident Amy Dixon is the 2013 Chelsea Cohen Courage Award winner, and Bob Ehalt is the 2013 recipient of the Bill Gonillo Local Media Award.

Dixon and Ehalt will both be honored at the Commission’s 9th annual Sports Night awards dinner, Monday, Oct.21 at the Hyatt Regency Greenwich at 6. For more information about the dinner contact Tom Chiappetta at 203-984-4806 or via email at [email protected]

Dixon, a Greenwich resident, is legally blind, yet she competes in triathlons with a guide, and in the past year has become one of the top para-triathletes in the country.

Ehalt, who resides in Shelton, is a sports staff member of the New Haven Register after long stints at both the Stamford Advocate and Norwalk Hour.

Dixon has lost most of her sight over the past 15 years and now has less than one percent vision. She met Caroline Gaynor, the triathlon director for Team Red, White and Blue, which supports veterans when they return from combat, who encouraged Dixon to race in a triathlon this year. Gaynor rides with Dixon on a tandem bike and the women are tethered when they run and swim and she acts as Dixon’s eyes and ears.

The Cohen Award is sponsored by the Forever Young Foundation, the charitable giving entity of Greenwich native and NFL Hall of Famer Steve Young. In 2006, the Commission created the Chelsea Cohen Courage Award, named after the late Cohen, a former Norwalk High soccer star who was the Commission’s first Courage Award recipient in 2005.

She passed away in Aug. 2006 after a courageous bout with a rare form of cancer of the nervous system. The award recognizes the person in the sports community who has shown inspirational strength in battling life-altering obstacles.

Ehalt has worked at state newspapers for nearly 35 years. After starting his career at the Norwalk Hour in 1978, he joined the Stamford Advocate in 1984 and spent more than two decades there.  He has been a voting member of the Commission’s Hall of Fame selection committees since its inception and contributed annual profiles of the Hall of Famers for the dinner program books. Ehalt has worked in the sports department of the New Haven Register since 2008.

When News 12 Sports Director Bill Gonillo passed away at the young age of 44 in September 2008, the Fairfield County sports community lost one of its greatest treasures. To keep Gonillo’s memory alive and provide a model reminder of his work ethic in covering local sports, the Commission created an annual award in Gonillo’s name.

The Commission recognizes members of the media that emulate “Big Bill’s” passion for local sports, and provide a supportive voice for the sports community in the county.

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