The Lightbody Award
The Lightbody Award is the highest honor bestowed on an individual by the Delaware County Sports Heritage Foundation. It recognizes the contributions of an individual who has excelled in the participation, support or promotion of athletics with a connection to Muncie, Delaware County, Indiana.
James Davies Lightbody was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1882. His family traveled to Muncie (Delaware County), Indiana where he went to high school before attending the University of Chicago. The legendary coach Amos Alonzo Stagg recruited him there. He went on to establish himself as one of the premier track athletes of the early 20th century. Jim Lightbody distinguished himself at the 1904 Olympic games in St. Louis where he captured three gold medals and one silver medal.
At these Olympic Games, he won the steeplechase race, a race he had never participated in, and beat the favored runner.. He also won a gold medal as an underdog in the 800-meter race, establishing an Olympic record with a time of 1:56.0. He continued his dominance by setting a world record in capturing the 1,500-meter race in 4:05.4. He was part of the Chicago Athletic Association team that captured a silver medal in the four-mile cross-country team race.
Jim Lightbody won national AAU races in the one-half mile and mile races in 1905. At the Intercalated Games in Athens, Greece in 1906, he won a gold medal in the 1,500-meter race and a silver medal in the 800-meter event.
After a illustrious career, Jim Lightbody settled in Charleston, South Carolina where he died in March 1953.
James Lightbody Award Selection ProcessThe selection for the Lightbody Award is as follows:
- Nomination for this award must be made by a current Delaware County Athletic Hall of Fame board member. The nomination must be narrative in nature and presented in writing to the board.
- After presentation of the nomination and any necessary discussion, a ballot vote will be taken. A person selected to receive a ballot for voting and the 90% required for selection will be taken for the remaining ballots.
- In the event that a board member is unable to attend the selection meeting, a proxy will be provided and cast by the member unable to attend. In the event that the nominee is a member of the board, he/she will not receive a ballot for voting and the 90% required for selection will be taken for the remaining ballots.
- Only one recipient of this award may be selected each year. If there is more than one nomination for the award, the board will decide which nominee will be placed on the ballot each year and other nominees will be placed on the list to be considered in future years.
James Lightbody Award Dick Falls 2021 Steve Shondell 2019 Bob Harrold 2016 Dave Land 2015 Don Shondell 2010 Paul Parker 2004 Robert Carmichael 2003 Francis Lafferty 2002 Roberta Falls 1994 Morry E. Mannies 1992 Odie Barnett 1989 Don J. Odle 1988 Herbert SilverBurg 1986 Donald Burton 1984 Robert Barnet Sr. 1984