Sullivan Honors Alaskan of the Week: Camdyn Clancy of Juneau
WASHINGTON, DC – This week, U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK) spoke on the Senate floor to recognize eight-year-old Juneau resident Camdyn Clancy. Because of his commitment to football, and the challenges he has playing in Alaska, Camdyn won the NFL PLAY 60 Super Kid contest and delivered the official game ball to the officiating crew just before kickoff at Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta. The days leading up to the game, he acted as the NFL's official kid correspondent, interviewing several Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots players. Senator Sullivan recognized Camdyn as part of his series, “Alaskan of the Week.”
SENATE FLOOR TRIBUTE TO CAMDYN CLANCY
Mr. President, it has been a few weeks since I have been able to come to the floor and speak about an Alaskan in my State who is making the State a much better place. It is one of my favorite times of the week. I think it is one of the pages’ favorite times of the week, by the way. Nearly every week when we are in session, I come down to the floor and bring attention to someone in Alaska who is doing something that may be is recognized by the country, by the State, or maybe by the community, or maybe not recognized at all. We like to celebrate this person. We call that person our Alaskan of the Week.
Alaska can feel a little bit far away from the rest of the country--a little bit like our own country sometimes, given our distance--but it is definitely part of this great Nation.
Although we don't have a major professional sports team--some actually say the professional sport of Alaska is politics--just like the rest of America, we love our sports. Of course, we are big fans of winter sports--hockey, cross-country skiing, snow-machining, dog mushing, ice skating. But we are also pretty big football fans.
Just like Americans throughout the country, last Sunday we were with family and friends tuned into America's most watched sporting event of the year, the Super Bowl. Many Alaskans watched the Super Bowl this year with special interest because we caught sight of one of our own--our Alaskan of the Week, Camdyn Clancy.
Let me talk a little bit about Camdyn. Last time I was here a couple of weeks ago, I recognized our oldest Alaskan of the Week ever, 100-year-old Urban Rahoi, from Fairbanks, AK. He is a great American and a World War II veteran, and he is from the greatest generation. He is 100 years old.
This week, Camdyn, who is 8 years old, is our youngest Alaskan of the Week to date. We are really proud of him just for that. Camdyn lives in Juneau, our State's capital, with his mother Hannah, who is a medical technician at Bartlett Hospital, and his father Brent, who is a firefighter. Last week, Camdyn experienced the dream of a lifetime for a young boy, which was made possible after he won the NFL PLAY 60 Super Kid contest.
What is that? On Super Bowl Sunday, Camdyn delivered the official game ball to the officiating crew just before kickoff, which is a pretty big deal for an 8-year-old. The days leading up to the game, he acted as the NFL's official kid correspondent, interviewing several Rams and Patriots players. You might have seen some of his interviews on the internet. They have literally gone viral.
What did he do to win the trip? For one, Camdyn loves all sports, but he really loves football. In fact, his parents took him to a Seattle Seahawks game when he was just 4 years old. Like I said, he really loves football, and it showed as he was competing to win this national Super Bowl competition. He showed it during a video that his mom Hannah filmed in front of Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, AK, where his dedication to the game of football really shone through.
He has played the past 4 seasons in the Juneau Youth Football League, coming off his own championship season, where he was the star quarterback of the team. When he gets home from school, he practices football every single night. He encourages others--the whole neighborhood, in fact--to play, including boys, girls, and anyone who will throw the football around with him.
It is not always easy to play football on your street in Alaska in the winter. By the time school is out, depending where you are in the State--but for most of the State--the sun has already set. It is usually snowy. What does Camdyn do? He wears a headlamp to practice football in the winter in Alaska. That is dedication. His mother said: “He faces challenges that a lot of kids in the lower 48 don't.” She said that is probably why he won this huge Super Bowl football contest.
The Super Bowl officials saw this dedicated young man in Alaska who loves football. He also probably knows more football stats than any other kid in Alaska. In the community, he is known as the football “Rain Man” with his stats on football.
The Super Bowl players this year got a lot of questions from reporters, and Camdyn was one of them, as the official youth correspondent for the NFL. For example, he got to ask Rams' quarterback Jared Goff what was going through his head when Greg Zuerlein kicked the 57-yard field goal that clinched the NFC Championship Game against the Saints.
“I was nervous,” Goff told Camdyn. “I was really nervous. It hit me right then that if he makes this, we are going to the Super Bowl.”
He also got to interview the Patriots' star quarterback, Tom Brady, who smiled at Camdyn and shook his hand when Camdyn approached with a microphone in hand to interview Tom Brady before the game.
Here was his question to quarterback Tom Brady: “How are you able to focus despite the negative fan base ..... AKA, the haters?”
After a laugh, Tom Brady said: “We love them. We love them right back. We don't hate back.”
That is a classy answer from one of the game's greatest. Camdyn later called the interview with Tom Brady “mind blowing.” He loved it. After he attended media day, we actually reached out to Camdyn and asked him what he learned during the event at the Super Bowl. He said: “Some of the players get a bad rap, but when you speak to them, they are really nice--like Ndamukong Suh. He was really nice.”
Camdyn said he loves the physical aspect of the game of football. He loves winning, and he loves the competition, but what he and his parents really love is how it can mold a person's character through hard work and perseverance. Being a good person is also key, Camdyn said. “That really reflects the performance and how much people want to play.”
When asked what he wants to do when he is older, of course, Camdyn mentioned two potential professional paths. One, of course, is to be a pro football quarterback. I think he has a lot of potential to do that. The next would be a firefighter, just like his dad.
Camdyn, thank you for representing Alaska last week at the Super Bowl in Atlanta. We were so proud of you. Thanks for being an inspiration to your community and our State. Thanks to the NFL for inspiring kids like Camdyn, and thanks to Brent and Hannah Clancy for raising such a great kid. Congratulations on winning the NFL PLAY 60 Super Kid contest, and congratulations on being our Alaskan of the Week--the youngest Alaskan of the Week ever. Great job, Camdyn.
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