On October 22, 2014, Phil Lakin annouced famed mountain climber, Melissa Arnot, will be the female recipient of the 2015 Henry P. Iba Citizen Athlete Award. Melissa has made her life about exploring the beautiful mountains of the world. She is passionate about climbing and pushing her own limits, but her ultimate joy comes from taking that journey with others, helping them push their limits and get to their own summit.
As a professional mountain guide, Melissa has been working internationally since 2004. Arnot has stood on the top of many of the world’s most stunning peaks alongside clients who reached their dreams getting there. It is the motivation of her clients that inspires her to push herself and achieve her own goals.
Working as a remote site EMT and wilderness medicine instructor for the past nine years, Arnot brings together her desire to care for and teach people. With safety as the driving ethic behind every adventure she embarks on, Arnot has made her mark as a caring guide and passionate adventurer.
Her climbing resume includes over 100 summits of Mt. Ranier, five summits of Mt. Everest – record holder, four expeditions on Cotopaxi, three on Cayambe, two on Kilimanjaro and one on Mt. McKinley.
Arnot has been featured in numerous publications including Esquire, Outside, Sun Valley, Shape, Fitness, as well as National Geographic Adventure blog, the Queen Latifah Show, Access Hollywood and ESPN W.
Her philanthropic endeavors began in 2008 when she summated Mt. Everest as part of the Everest Team Inspi(RED) to promote HIV/AIDS awareness in Africa. In 2010 she led the celebrity Summit on the Summit climb on Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise awareness for clean water access. In 2012 she launched a non-profit with fellow mountain guide, Dave Morton, to provide life insurance and cover rescue expenses of mountain workers. Last year she led a second celebrity Summit on the Summit climb on Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise awareness for clean water access.
The Iba Awards were created in 1994 by the Rotary Club of Tulsa to recognize an influential male and a female premiere athlete for their success in their sport, and more importantly, for being positive role models who give back to their communities – not only by donating to worthy causes, but by being personally dedicated and involved in their chosen charities.
The awards are named after Henry P. Iba, former Oklahoma State University basketball coach and coach of three U.S. Olympic basketball teams. He was an unparalleled success as a coach, a leader and a citizen and these awards recognize and honor athletes who best exemplify a high degree of citizenship in his image.
This prestigious black-tie event will be held at the Renaissance Tulsa Hotel & Convention Center on June 22, 2015. Proceeds benefit the Rotary Club of Tulsa Foundation.