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Jamie Bestwick Named Action Sportsperson of the Year

by on March 27, 2014 6:45 AM

Jamie Bestwickhas has made quite a name for himself as an internationally-famous X Games superstar and as a philanthropist who's active in the State College area.

And the honors keep piling up.

on Wednesday, Bestwick was named Action Sportsperson of the Year at the 2014 Laureus World Sports Awards held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The Patton Township resident is a legendary figure in the world of BMX bike competition. He is the only athlete in X Games history to win eight straight gold medals. He has also won nine Dew Tour titles.

After accepting the award, Bestwick told the crowd, "To have the attention of the sporting world right now is awesome and I thank you for that. And I'd like to thank my wife. She's always been there through the good times and the bad times. I'm sure we'll celebrate this one tonight.

"And ultimately, I'd really like to dedicate this award to my dad. When I was 10 he bought me my first bike and while he cursed that day I never looked back. So thank you very much."

His ninth Dew Tour victory was a world-record performance at the BMX Championships in Ocean City, Md. this past summer. Bestwick scored a record 94 points.

Bestwick is also well-known as a driving force behind the Jamie Bestwick Foundation, an organization that provides financial help to area families and individuals who are in need.

In recent months, he's been trying to garner support for a proposal to build an action sports park in State College. He's been meeting with government officials looking for ways to raise money for the project. Bestwick says a sports park would benefit the community and would attract new residents to the State College area.

In winning the Laureus Sports Award, Bestwick joins some prestigious company. According to the Laureus website, the award celebrates "the most remarkable men and women from the world of sport along with the greatest sporting achievements."

Other winners this year include Missy Franklin, the American Olympic swimmer who became  the first woman swimmer in history to win six gold medals at a single World Championship, Spainish tennis pro Rafael Nadal and German Formula One race car driver Sebastian Vettel.

Click HERE for more information about the Laureus World Sports Awards.

You can watch Jamie Bestwick's acceptance speech below:

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Steve Bauer was the Managing Editor of Steve and his wife Trina are longtime area residents. They reside in State College along with a wacky Golden Retriever named Izzy.
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