JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas — Major Ian Holt and Capt. Abby Hall were recently named 2017 Air Force Athletes of the Year.
Holt, combat operations division space control branch chief for the 614th Air Operations Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., is a cyclist and past member of the World Class Athlete Program.
“As an Airman, it has been difficult to juggle a career with increasing rank and responsibility, family and inevitable aging,” Holt said, who began cycling competitively at the U.S. Air Force Academy and who was also honored as the Air Force Male Athlete of the Year in 2009. “In many ways, being recognized as the 2017 Air Force Athlete of the Year is more special and satisfying in the twilight of my (sports) career.”
Holt’s competitive cycling career includes representing the U.S. Armed Forces Cycling Team at the 2005 Military World Championships and the U.S. at the 2016 Elite Track World Cycling Championships, where he finished 11th.
“As an Airman, I never would have had the opportunities and motivation to pursue the level of competition that I ultimately reached without the underlying theme of representing my country and the Air Force,” Holt said.
Hall, an acquisitions officer was the AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile Program Office at Eglin AFB, Fla., helped the All-Air Force women’s volleyball team win its first Armed Forces championship in five years last May. She then helped the All-Armed Forces team place second in the World Military Games, the highest finish in 23 years.
Felicia Clement, a second lieutenant with the 62nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, was a teammate of Hall’s on the Air Force and the Armed Forces Volleyball team.
“As an Airman, I share this award with my teammates,” Hall said, who starred at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla., before she was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 2012. “Personally, it shows that my hard work and dedication on and off the court is paying off. Volleyball has and continues to open doors for me that I would not have known otherwise. The experience of playing for the Air Force and armed forces is more than I could have imagined, and I’m always thankful for the opportunity to grow and play in the sport that I love.”
Hall’s playing and coaching experience complemented her readiness and resiliency during the Armed Forces Tournament and the World Military Games.
Hall, normally an outside hitter, was asked by Coach Nicki Holmes to play middle hitter during the Armed Forces Tournament. She not only filled that role, she thrived, as Air Force won five straight matches to win the gold medal.
“Middle hitter requires the ability to read the game,” Hall said. “Thankfully, with the coaching staff’s help and pulling from my own coaching experience, knowledge, and familiarity of the game I was able to fill that role.”
To learn more about the Air Force Sports program or to apply for a spot on one of the teams, visit myairforcelife.com/Sports/.