Calgary Flames captain and overall good human being, Mark Giordano, won the Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian award last night at the ESPN Awards.
Calgary Flames captain Mark Giordano continues to prove to be a stand-up guy. Last night, he won the ESPN’s Sports Humanitarian Award – the Muhammad Ali award. Per the Calgary Flames, this award recognizes an athlete “whose continuous, demonstrated leadership has created a positive impact on their community through sports.” As the winner, the Flames captain will direct a $100,000 grant from ESPN to his charity, Team Giordano.
Yay Gio! He even said that having his name forever linked with Muhammad Ali is something to cherish. Flames’ Ryan Leslie even interviewed Leila Ali, son of Muhammad Ali, and she said the same thing.
"“It was really special, right from the start – watching the video of Muhammad Ali and then being able to win the award at the end of the night, I’m truly honoured,” Giordano said.“It’s a pretty emotional night, pretty surreal for me right now.”"
Mark and his wife Lauren work countlessly with the community. Last season, he won the Ralph T. Scurfield Humanitarian Award which is 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. Habitat for Humanity isn’t limited to just his community, though. Mark and Lauren are spokespeople for this charity when 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.
Last night before Gio won the award, they played a video of the work he does for his community.
"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)."
It isn’t just Mark that does all this work. He credits much of it to his wife, Lauren.
"“She should be standing right next to me. She does all the hard work, day-in and day-out,” Giordano told CalgaryFlames.com. “Really, I’ve learned so much from her, the giving person that she is.”"
Candice Goudie, Flames Foundation’s executive director, also brags on about how great and selfless of a person Lauren Giordano is.
Per Ryan Leslie on Twitter, after last night, Gio also got lots of calls from all his teammates congratulating him. The first call coming from new teammate Travis Hamonic. Hamonic won this year’s NHL Foundation Award for his work he does with the community as well – beating Giordano for that award who came in third place in voting. Looks like Hamonic will also fit in just fine with this team.
You don’t do all this community work to get recognized, but it sure is nice for other people to acknowledge your efforts. Big congratulations to the Flames captain and his lovely wife!