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Gold medalist honored with sailing leadership award

Paralympic gold medalist Maureen McKinnon-Tucker was honored with the annual Leadership in Women's Sailing Award during last week's Women's Sailing Conference in Marblehead, Mass.

The award, co-sponsored by BoatU.S. and the National Women's Sailing Association, honors a male or female who has a record of achievement in giving something back to the sailing community as well as inspiring and educating women.

"Maureen's indomitable spirit and upbeat attitude are the essence of what leadership is all about," said Elaine Dickinson, coordinator of the BoatU.S. Women in Boating initiative, in presenting the award. "She turned adversity into achievement and inspires everyone who meets her or hears her story."

McKinnon-Tucker was left partially paralyzed more than a decade ago after falling off a seawall. Nevertheless, she has pursued competitive sailing. She was the first woman named to the U.S. disabled sailing team and won a silver medal in the 2007 world championship. She then won a gold medal in the Beijing Paralympic Games in 2008, along with the late Nick Scandone in the SKUD 18 class.

She also has served on numerous boards and committees advocating for those with spinal cord injuries and is a peer mentor for those recently disabled. She is the adaptive sailing coordinator at the Piers Park Sailing Center in Boston.

She was featured in the "Top Women in American Boating" article in the May 2009 issue of BoatU.S. Magazine.

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