State of Washington
66th Legislature
2019 Regular Session
BySenators Hunt and Wilson, C.
Read first time 02/11/19.Referred to Committee on State Government, Tribal Relations & Elections.
WHEREAS, Joan Benoit Samuelson is a legendary athlete and a pioneer of women's long-distance running; and
WHEREAS, The historic first-ever Women's Olympic Marathon Trials were held in Olympia, Washington, on May 12, 1984; and
WHEREAS, The finish line for the marathon trials route was at Marathon Park, on the Washington State Capitol Campus; and
WHEREAS, Joan qualified for the 1984 Olympics by winning with a blistering time of 02:31:04, in spite of undergoing knee surgery just two weeks prior; and
WHEREAS, Joan went on to win the Olympic Gold Medal at the first-ever Women's Olympic Marathon in Los Angeles in 1984 in a stunning victory, beating the 1983 World Champion Grete Waitz of Norway comfortably by more than a whole minute; and
WHEREAS, Joan set the women's world marathon record and the United States women's marathon record on four occasions; and
WHEREAS, Joan won the 1979 and 1983 Boston Marathons and at the 1983 race set the women's course and World Record at 2:22:43, a time that stood as the course record for 11 years; and
WHEREAS, Joan was deemed the nation's premier amateur athlete by being awarded the prestigious Amateur Athletic Union James E. Sullivan Award in 1985; and
WHEREAS, Joan won the 1985 Chicago Marathon in a time of 2:21:21 setting the American Record which stood for 18 years; and
WHEREAS, Joan is a 1999 inductee into the International Women's Sports Foundation Hall of Fame and was voted into the Olympic Hall of Fame in 2008; and
WHEREAS, Joan wrote Running Tide and Running for Women to provide advice and encourage other women runners; and
WHEREAS, Joan continues to contribute to the sport of running by participating in marathons, coaching cross-country and long-distance athletes, sports commentating, and serving as a motivational speaker; and
WHEREAS, Joan supports local communities through her involvement in events such as the 2004 Bloomsday 12K Run in Spokane, Washington, where she was designated Honorary Race Director; and
WHEREAS, Throughout her career, Joan has a long history of community and civic involvement including founding the Beach to Beacon 10k Road Race to benefit children's charities; and
WHEREAS, Joan has reached out to at-risk youth, Boys and Girls Clubs, and young athletes of all backgrounds with an inspiring "can-do" message; and
WHEREAS, The Washington State Legislature wishes to honor Joan Benoit Samuelson with a lasting memorial to her perseverance and dedication to running; and
WHEREAS, Marathon Park earned its name when the City of Olympia competed for, and won, the right to host the United States time trials for the first Women's Olympic Marathon in 1984;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, By the Senate of the State of Washington, the House of Representatives concurring, that Marathon Park be renamed Joan Benoit Samuelson Marathon Park in celebration of the 35th Anniversary of the Women's Olympic Marathon Trials; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Department of Enterprise Services properly sign the park as "Joan Benoit Samuelson Marathon Park"; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be forwarded to Joan Benoit Samuelson; the Honorable Jay Inslee, Governor of the State of Washington; and Chris Liu, Director of the Department of Enterprise Services.
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