THE FLATS – Receiving one of the NCAA’s most prestigious honors, Georgia Tech alumnae and four-time Olympian Chaunté Lowe has been named the 2021 recipient of the NCAA Inspiration Award. Lowe, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2019, has continued to train for the Olympic Team while undergoing chemotherapy and treatment.
The NCAA Inspiration Award is presented to a coach, administrator, or current or former varsity letterwinner who, when confronted with a life-altering situation used perseverance, dedication and determination to overcome the event and most importantly, now serves as a role model to give hope and inspiration to others in similar situations. Lowe, Georgia Tech’s first alumnae to receive the NCAA Inspiration Award, will be recognized during the virtual 2021 NCAA Honors Celebration on Wed., Jan. 13 at 7 p.m.
Lowe, then Howard, graduated from Georgia Tech in 2008 with a degree in economics after she became one of the most decorated high jumpers in school history. As a Yellow Jacket, Lowe earned 13 all-ACC honors, six All-America accolades, three NCAA Championships and was inducted into the Georgia Tech Sports Hall of Fame in 2015.
She turned professional after graduating and went on to become a four-time Olympian, 2008 Olympic high jump bronze medalist, American record holder, three-time World Champion, eight-time national outdoor champion and 12-time US National Champion.
In June 2019, while training for her fifth Olympics, Lowe was diagnosed with Stage 1 triple-negative breast cancer. After her diagnosis, she underwent aggressive treatment which included a double mastectomy and six rounds of chemotherapy. All while undergoing chemotherapy and medical visits, Lowe continued to train for the Olympic Games, realizing her dream of making a fifth Olympic Team opened a new platform to bring attention to breast cancer awareness, early detection and ways to fund research.
Since her diagnosis, she has documented her story through social media, speaking engagements and national media outlets like Sports Illustrated and the Today Show. As part of an in-depth, personal story, she shared her journey with Team USA and was featured in the NCAA Olympians Made Here campaign.
Lowe was also recognized this year with the National STUDENT-Athlete Day Giant Steps Award in June.
The Alexander-Tharpe Fund is the fundraising arm of Georgia Tech athletics, providing scholarship, operations and facilities support for Georgia Tech’s 400-plus student-athletes. Be a part of developing Georgia Tech’s Everyday Champions and helping the Yellow Jackets compete for championships at the highest levels of college athletics by supporting the A-T Fund’s Annual Athletic Scholarship Fund, which directly provides scholarships for Georgia Tech student-athletes, and Athletics Initiative 2020, Georgia Tech athletics’ ongoing $125 million initiative to allow Tech to recruit the nation’s most elite student-athletes, build a better student-athlete once they arrive on The Flats and, ultimately, win! To learn more about supporting the Yellow Jackets, visit atfund.org.