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Kayaker Shannon Christy awarded posthumous Emmy from '60 Minutes Sports'

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According to GreenvilleOnline (Greenville News) on May 8,2014, '60 Minutes Sports' dedicated its first Emmy to a Greenville, South Carolina kayaker who died last summer in an accident on the Potomac River. GreenvilleOnline reports that on July 11, 2013, '23-years-old “Shannon Christy was trying to navigate Great Falls in preparation for The Great Falls Race which is part of the Potomac River Festival.”

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Lydia Warren, a reporter for the Daily Mail described Christy as an extreme kayaker who died after she “was overtaken” by powerful rapids. “Shannon was being profiled by '60 Minutes Sports' prior to her death. According to Warren, Shannon Christy was an experienced kayaker, preparing for the Great Falls Race when she encountered trouble in the first drop, one of the steepest in the world.

“Her kayak was found drifting downstream and her body was eventually recovered from beneath tons of water in a deadly section of the run. Organizers called off the competition following the tragedy.”

According to GreenvilleOnline, “Shannon was being videotaped when she went over the falls and disappeared. A tourist who witnessed the accident alerted others. Her body was found about four hours later.”

Christy's death came just two days after the 60 Minutes crew interviewed and filmed her during her first practice run on the Class Five Rapid, which is the most dangerous category. During the interview, Christy admitted, “We have all been in situations where you've had to pull your spray skirt and be ejected from the kayak. It's not something that's ideal or what you want to do, but it does happen to the best of the best.”

David Martin of CBS News accepted the Emmy and dedicated it to Christy. Mr. Martin spoke to Christy at Great Falls two days before she died. He remembers Christy saying, "I kayak because I love the sport. Kayaking takes you to places that most of society will never see. I love the act of kayaking for what it is."


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