Good guy Mark Giordano keeps proving to be a good guy. The Calgary Flames captain is a finalist for ESPN’s Sports Humanitarian Award.
Calgary Flames captain, Mark Giordano, keeps proving to be a stand-up guy. He keeps getting nominated for all these good guy awards. And he continues to deserve all these awards.
It was recently announced that he’s a finalist for ESPN’s Sports Humanitarian Award – the Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award. Per the Calgary Flames, this award is awarded to an athlete whose continuous, demonstrated leadership has created a positive impact on their community through sports. The winner will be able to direct a $100,000 grant from ESPN to the qualified charity related to the award-winning humanitarian efforts. The finalists will be able to direct a $25,000 grant to the charity related to their award-winning efforts.
The other three finalists for this award are PGA Tour Golfer Ernie Els, Arizona Cardinals’ wideout Larry Fitzgerald, and New York Mets’ outfielder Curtis Granderson.
"“I am truly humbled and honoured to be a finalist for this prestigious award,” said Giordano. “Muhammad Ali is one of the most recognizable and influential sports figures of all time. Along with his accomplishments as an athlete, Mr. Ali’s selflessness, courage and compassion outside the boxing ring inspired so many around the world. My wife Lauren and I look forward to being alongside other athletes, teams and community members to celebrate and recognize the humanitarian efforts through sport amongst the athletic community.”"
Of course, Giordano doesn’t spend a lot of his time and money helping out children and the community only to be nominated for awards, though. Him and his wife, Lauren, have been doing this for years now, and I’m sure it feels nice to be recognized. But that’s just a perk that comes along. They don’t do it for the recognition.
"“To be honest, I was shocked,” confesses the Flames’ captain. “Stunned.“I grew up in a different era but to have your name associated with Muhammad Ali’s, and for a humanitarian award, is pretty special. Just a huge amount of respect for a guy like that, obviously.“That’s not why you do charity work, to get awards, but when something like this happens, I won’t lie, it’s special.“For my wife and I – she’s so heavily involved, too – this is probably the biggest honour you can think of.”"
This isn’t the first time though that Giordano has been nominated/won some sort of humanitarian-like award. Just last year, he won the NHL Foundation Player award last season which is awarded annually to the National Hockey League player “who applies the core values of hockey—commitment, perseverance and teamwork—to enrich the lives of people in his community”.
"The Flames captain created “Team Giordano” two seasons ago, which helps provide resources to low-income schools in Calgary. It has helped schools purchase computers, journals, supplies and hockey floor equipment. Team Giordano has donated more than $200,000 to more than 1,400 students."
Last season, Giordano also won the Ralph T. Scurfield Humanitarian Award. This award is a Flames award awarded annually to the player who “best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, determination and leadership on the ice, combined with dedication to community service.”
In 2012, the Calgary Flames gave him another award, the J.R. “Bud” McGraig Award, for his work he has done with Habitat for Humanity and with Flames Foundation. This award is also a team award awarded annually to members of the Flames, a player and a staff member, who “best exemplify Mr. McCaig’s enduring virtues of respect, courtesy and compassion for all individuals he encountered both in his professional and everyday life.”
His work with Habitat for Humanity goes beyond Calgary. Him and his wife, Lauren Giordano, are spokespeople for this charity. They launched a program called 5-for-5 in 2011 that has a goal of building five homes, one in the Calgary area, and four in Africa and Asia. Gio donated $25,000 of his own money.
In 2014, Mark and Lauren started another project with a launching of an initiative called the “Team Giordano Project”. They and the Flames’ charitable arm donated funding to three Calgary schools to supply new gym equipment and computers, as well as to visit the schools and offer mentorship to the students (Via Calgary Flames).
Sometimes, hockey isn’t everything. And Giordano continues to prove that. He completely deserves any Humanitarian award he wins.