Hunter’s Speech

[Sports Illustrated Kids featuring Hunter Lussi (May 2009)]

My name is Hunter Lussi, I’m 15 years old and I began doing triathlons and raising money to help kids with mental disabilities when I was 6 years old. I met Vigo when I was 7 years old. Vigo became my mentor. He watched my triathlon and my fund raising progress and he believed in me enough to allow me to participate in the Columbia Triathlon when I was 10 years old. Vigo showed me by his example what it really means to contribute to your community.

Vigo contributes to so many organizations and he encourages everyone he meets to follow an active, healthy, fundraising lifestyle. At 12 and 13 Vigo continued to believe in me and gave me the opportunity to become the youngest half Ironman and youngest Ironman distance finisher.

But those were not the best things Vigo has helped me accomplish. The best thing was that Vigo agreed to be the Race Director for my idea to get America fit. Vigo did not laugh at a 13 year old kid who called and wrote two Presidents telling them Vigo was the perfect person to take over where President Kennedy had started trying to get American fit 45 years ago.

Vigo, because of your leadership and lifestyle example, we will find a way to get America fit through triathlons. Triathlons are the three activates that every kid was so excited to be able to do. All little kids love to run. Do you remember the first time you rode a bike by yourself? It was freedom; you were flying. And swimming is the best feeling at any age.

This evening is a tribute to Vigo for all his incredible accomplishments and his limitless generosity, but we have to remember that Vigo can’t be Vigo without the Ironwoman support of his wife, Sharon. Sharon thank you for helping Vigo be such a great role model for my generation and the best possible mentor to me.

Vigo, let’s get America fit and you keep living your active, healthy, fundraising lifestyle so that we can all try to be like you.