Franklin & Marshall College's Becca Meyers has once again earned the Best Female Athlete with a Disability Award at the annual ESPYs. She was announced as the winner during the 25th annual awards ceremony, hosted by NFL great Peyton Manning and televised by ESPN from Los Angeles July 12.
ESPY Awards are determined by fan voting. The Diplomats' All-American swimmer previously won the same accolade in 2015.
Meyers completed the second Summer Paralympic Games of her career in Rio de Janeiro last September. There she won four medals — three gold and one silver — and set two world records while competing in the 100-meter butterfly, 200-meter individual medley, 400-meter freestyle, and 100-meter freestyle. She also recorded a sixth-place finish in the 50-meter freestyle. You can watch highlights of her performances here.
During the 2012 Summer Paralympic Games in London, Meyers, who was born deaf and has Usher syndrome, a genetic disorder that causes gradual hearing, balance, and vision loss, took silver in the 200 IM, bronze in the 100 freestyle, and finished fifth in the 50 freestyle.
Three years later, following gold medal-winning swims in the 200-meter IM and 400-meter freestyle, and a silver medal effort in the 100-meter butterfly, at the 2015 International Paralympic Committee Swimming World Championships in Scotland, Meyers was named one of five finalists for the Team USA Female Paralympic Athlete of the Year.
She is currently on an extended leave of absence from the College in order to pursue swimming at the highest level of the sport and to share her inspiring story with audiences around the world. In 2016, she was invited to be part of the annual Clinton Global Initiative in New York City, where she spoke on the subject of "Everyone Can Play: Sports as a Catalyst for Development & Integration."
"It is amazing to win my second ESPY because it is incredible to see how far the Paralympic movement has grown and gained awareness," Meyers said in a tweet to her hometown paper, The Baltimore Sun, on Thursday morning. "I am so honored to be a spokesperson for the Para movement and be a role model to kids with disabilities — to show them that they can do anything they set their minds to!"
Last September, Meyers returned to campus together with her guide dog, Birdie, to present President Daniel R. Porterfield and the College with a special U.S. Olympic Committee medal — the Order of Ikkos — that Paralympic medal winners receive to give to others who have been especially supportive of their efforts to achieve world-class success. The honor is inspired by Ikkos, the first recorded Olympic coach in ancient Greece, who became renowned for his coaching ability after leading two athletes to gold medals in the pentathlon.