It’s tough to lose a parent, no matter how old you are, but if it happens when you’re nine, it’s devastating.  When it happened to Winter Vinecki, she used her grief to propel her toward helping make sure others didn’t have to suffer the same loss.  Little Winter Vinecki used to race triathlons with her father, but when he passed away less than a year after being diagnosed with prostate cancer, she started racing as a way to raise money and awareness about the disease.  She created Team Winter, a group of racers all over the globe who work to raise money to help find a cure.  She’s now 12 years old and is racing around the world.  She’s the IronKids Ambassador and she uses her platform to encourage kids to lead an active, healthy and positive lifestyle while encouraging them to race for a cause.  She races for her dad.

On October 19, 2011 Winter was the recipient of the 2011 Annika Inspiration Award. She was presented this award at the 32nd Annual Salute to Women in Sports Gala in NYC put on by the Women’s Sports Foundation. There to present her with her award was tennis legend, Billie Jean King and golf icon, Annika Sorenstam. Winter was amongst numerous world class athletes both from the past and present.

We mentioned Winter is the Iron Kids Ambassador. She’s not the only inspirational runner taking part.  Click this link to learn how other children are teaching us all a lesson in good sportsmanship.

Desiree Miller’s work appears on dozens of television stations around the country, from KABC in LA to WCBS in New York.  She also contribute to magazines, including·Family Fun by Disney, Atlanta·Parent and Expectant Mothers Guide.  She writes for many websites and hold the title of Atlanta’s Top Mom Blogger.