Posted Saturday, February 13, 2010
Daytona Beach, Fla. (Feb. 13, 2010) – Roush Fenway’s race cars will each carry a special decal honoring the life and cause of Olympic medalist skier and multiple sclerosis (MS) advocate, Jimmie Heuga, in this Sunday’s Daytona 500 race at Daytona International Speedway. Heuga passed away Monday at the age of 66 in Colorado; 46 years to the day that he won his bronze medal in the 1964 Winter Olympics.
Heuga, a college skiing teammate of Roush Fenway President Geoff Smith at the University of Colorado, was a bronze medalist in the 1964 Olympic games, but will most be remembered for founding Can Do Multiple Sclerosis (formerly The Heuga Center for Multiple Sclerosis) a national nonprofit organization that has served as a leading provider of innovative lifestyle empowerment programs for people with MS and their support partners.
“Jimmie was one of strongest willed and toughest competitors that you will ever meet,” said Smith. “He was able to take that competitive tenacity and use it in his battle against MS. He never backed down from the disease and in turn was able to do great work empowering other people impacted by multiple sclerosis. His contributions will not be forgotten and it is an honor to be able to remember Jimmie and help continue his cause by this small gesture.”
Heuga became one of the first two Americans -- along with teammate Billy Kidd -- to win an Olympic medal in Alpine skiing.
He was diagnosed with MS in 1970 at the age of 26, but refused to succumb to the neurological disease. He instead became a champion for others suffering from the disease, and his campaign to demonstrate that MS did not necessarily mean a life of inactivity is credited with helping to change the mindset about MS and exercise.
“This is a very sad week,” said Can Do MS CEO Kim Sharkey, “but with this opportunity of being part of the Roush Fenway Racing organization participating in the Great American Race - the Daytona 500 – it’s exciting for our organization and partners. Jimmie would be proud of this and thankful for his friendship with Geoff Smith.”
For more information on Can Do Multiple Sclerosis, visit www.mscando.org.
About Roush Fenway Racing
Roush Fenway Racing is NASCAR’s largest team operating seven motorsports teams. Four in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with drivers Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards and David Ragan; and four in the Nationwide Series with Edwards, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Colin Braun, and Paul Menard. For more information on any of the Roush Fenway Racing teams, log onto www.RoushFenway.com. Become a fan of Roush Fenway Racing on Facebook by going to http://www.facebook.com/roushfenway. And for sponsorship inquiries please contact Robin Johnson at 704.720.4645.