Team USA Minnesota’s Gabriele Anderson received the Wilma Rudolph Award for Courage and Inspiration yesterday at the National Girls and Women in Sports Day event in Minnesota. The ceremony was held at the State Capitol in St. Paul.
Anderson (pictured), a Perham High School graduate, was diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma, a cancer in the salivary glands, in March 2009. At the time of her diagnosis, she was finishing her final track season at the University of Minnesota.
After surgery to remove the tumor and the parotid gland, followed by weeks of radiation, she petitioned the NCAA for another year of outdoor track eligibility. The result was a second place finish in the 1500 meters at the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Anderson joined Team USA Minnesota in the summer of 2010. Things were going well until she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in October 2010, which meant more surgery and treatment.
In 2011, however, Anderson finished third in the mile at both the USA Indoor Championships and the USA Road Mile Championships. Last summer she set personal bests in the 800 meters (2:03.03), 1500 meters (4:06.77) and 5000 meters (15:45.99).
She will compete in the U.S. Olympic Track Trials this summer.
Photo by Becky Miller.
Related Content: Gabriele Anderson Faces Cancer Challenge.