BANGOR, Maine — The 2008 Maine Games-New Balance Male Athlete of the Year, Chris Page of Hermon, received a national honor last month.
In August, Page was selected the National Congress of State Games’ Male Athlete of the Year.
He will be honored at a public reception at noon Friday, Sept. 19, at Union Street Athletics on Griffin Road.
Page, 42, is a powerlifter who has competed in the Maine Games State Powerlifting Championships every year since the event began in 2005.
“It’s quite an honor for someone from Maine” to be recognized by the National Congress of State Games, said Maine Games executive director Jeff Scully of Saco. “Chris is our first national winner, and I believe quite deserving of the award.”
In addition to being crowned Maine’s Strongest Man at this year’s Maine Games powerlifting event in March in Brewer, Page claimed his fifth and sixth gold medals in the Men’s Open division, as well as in the Master’s division.
What makes Page’s story most improbable is the fact that in November 2006, while working as a lineman for Central Maine Power, he had his thumb severed in an accident.
After a four-hour surgery and extensive rehabilitation, Page was able to adapt his grip, using only four fingers on his injured hand. Even still, in March, less than a year and a half from what should have been a career-ending injury, he was able to dead lift more than 622 pounds. In addition, his squat and bench press numbers gave him a three-lift total of 1,768 pounds.
Page will attend a banquet in his honor on Thursday, Sept. 25, in Rochester, N.Y., during the National Congress of State Games’ annual symposium. Montana’s Marlene Tetrault, 70, of Red Lodge, also will be honored at the banquet.
The Maine Games is a member of the National Congress of State Games, which is part of the United States Olympic Committee. The mission of the Maine Games is to provide amateur athletes of all ages and abilities the opportunity to compete on a statewide stage, to practice good sportsmanship and to develop healthful habits that can last a lifetime.
Mindy Fowler of Winslow was named the Maine Games-New Balance Female Athlete of the Year for 2008 after her two gold-medal performance s in the tennis competition held at Colby College in June. In addition, Fowler competed in the High School Field Hockey tournament for the Winslow High School team. She captured the Women’s Open division gold medal, and partnered with her father, Jeff, to claim the top spot in the Mixed Doubles competition.
New Balance, with manufacturing facilities in Maine, has been the sponsor of the statewide award since 2003.