By Ms. Amy Tolson (Redstone Rocket)March 15, 2017
They may excel in different sports, but one thing unites them -- they were the best of the best for All Army Sports in 2016.
The Army celebrated its 2016 Army Athletes Awards recipients -- Maj. Donald Bigham, male athlete of the year; Spc. Susan Tanui, female athlete of the year; and Capt. Carl Little, coach of the year -- at the 2017 Association of the U.S. Army's Global Force Symposium in Huntsville March 14. Gen. Gus Perna, commander of the Army Materiel Command, presented the awards, as well as a coin, to each of the athletes.
Bigham, a USA Powerlifting team member and human performance officer at Fort Benning, Georgia, won four gold medals at the 2016 International Power Lifting Federation Raw Power Lifting Championship, in addition to taking first place at every world and national powerlifting competition he competed in in 2016, breaking numerous records along the way. His top squat was 601 pounds, his bench press 363 pounds, and his deadlift 625 pounds.
Tanui, a runner, dental assistant and outgoing clinic practice manager at Fort Riley, Kansas, placed second overall in not one, but two U.S. Armed Forces Championship Races: the Marine Corps Marathon and Army Ten-Miler, performances that greatly contributed to the All-Army Team winning both events. The All-Army Team was also victorious in the USA Cross Country National Championship, thanks in part, to Tanui. She was also selected to become a member of the World Class Athlete Program at Fort Carson, Colorado.
Little, an assistant professor of military science at Saint Augustine's University in Raleigh, North Carolina, served as head coach of the All Army Men's basketball team that won the gold medal at the 2016 U.S. Armed Forces Basketball Championship, the team's first since 2004. The team finished with a perfect record for the season, winning 11 games.