WWE has announced the 2017 WWE Hall of Fame “Warrior Award” recipient. Established in 2015 in honor of the fighting spirit of the Ultimate Warrior, WWE has used this platform to award those who have persevered through very difficult obstacles.
This year, WWE will be honoring Eric LeGrand, former defensive tackle for Rutgers. The 26-year-old LeGrand suffered a tragic career-ending injury during a football game in 2010 after tackling the ball carrier. During the tackle, LeGrand injured his spinal cord, which paralyzed him from the neck down.
Now, LeGrand has turned such a heartbreaking negative into a triumphant positive, as he is now a motivational speaker, traveling around the country to help people stay focused on their dreams.
LeGrand commented on the induction.
“It is an absolute honor to be named the 2017 Warrior Award recipient. I am truly grateful for WWE’s support of my personal journey, and I am proud to continue to be an example of strength for people everywhere.”
Dana Warrior also commented.
“Eric LeGrand truly embodies the Warrior spirit with his determination and positive outlook. I am honored to present this year’s Warrior Award to Eric at the WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.”
Here are the list of “Warrior Award” recipients so far.
2015: Connor Michalek
Connor “The Crusher” Michalek was the first inductee of the Warrior Award. Although he only lived for eight-and-a-half years, Michalek inspired so many people along the way. Michalek first became a widespread name after he campaigned to meet his hero, Daniel Bryan. He would meet Bryan just two days after his campaign, fulfilling his dream. He even had a memorable role after WrestleMania XXX, coming to the ring after the event and pinning Triple H.
Unfortunately, Michalek battled cancer in the spine and brain since he was 3-years-old. Just a few weeks after fulfilling his dreams, he lost his battle with cancer and passed away. Just a couple of months later, Connor’s Cure was started to promote pediatric cancer research.
WWE commented on the success of Connor’s Cure.
“In his honor, Connor’s Cure was created as a fund to support pediatric brain and spinal cord cancer research. To date, Connor’s Cure has raised $1 million and assisted more than 100 families around the world.”
2016: Joan Lunden
Joan Lunden has been in the journalism business for over 40 years. Starting her rise in the business through a position with Good Morning America, she would use this platform to cover the Olympics, as well as interview a number of presidents. She would also do work for shows such as Biography, Behind Closed Doors, and others.
In 2014, Lunden was diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) at the age of 63. Lunden, fortunately, was able to beat cancer, and is now free from it. She revealed on her website that although TNBC does not respond to hormonal therapy, a combination of chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery was the strategy to a successful procedure. As a result, Lunden’s resilience earned her a Warrior award during WrestleMania 32 weekend.
2017: Eric LeGrand
Eric LeGrand is the newest inductee as a WWE Hall of Fame Warrior Award recipient. LeGrand has taken his tragic moment from 2010 to inspire others and turn what could have been a downward spiral in his life to what has now earned him a spot as a WWE award winner.
LeGrand told ESPN that he was “in complete shock” when he found out that he was going to be honored during WrestleMania weekend. Like the previous years, Dana Warrior, widow of the Ultimate Warrior, will be presenting the award. Along with the Friday before WrestleMania, LeGrand will also be honored on the night of the event.
[Featured Image by WWE]