Physical therapy grad inspires others to persevere

October 27, 2009 —

National Congress of State Games' female athlete of the year Cindy Hauber of Iowa and male athlete of the year Dave Sutko from Lincoln, NE.

National Congress of State Games' female athlete of the year Cindy Hauber of Iowa and male athlete of the year Dave Sutko from Lincoln, NE.

When the Iowa Games began in 1987, Cindy Hauber was poolside, ready to compete in the 200-meter freestyle. Although it was her first swim competition and she had “no idea how swim meets were run,” the ’05 graduate of DMU’s D.P.T. program won the race.

She went on to compete in the Iowa Games’ swim events every summer, missing just two years – 1991, when her daughter was born, and 2000, when a ruptured cerebral aneurysm sent her to the hospital for several weeks, sapped her strength and cut her weight 20 pounds.

But Hauber was unwilling to let even an exploding blood vessel keep her down. She began swimming again and returned to Iowa Games competition in 2001. For her accomplishments and perseverance, she was named the Iowa Games 2009 Marty McHone Female Athlete of the Year and then the 2009 National Congress of State Games (NCSG) Female Athlete of the Year.

“Cindy’s longevity of competing, her overcoming health problems, citizenship and all her support of fellow athletes made her the perfect selection,” says Jeff Scully, executive director of the Maine Games and chair of the NCSG awards committee.A physical therapist with Homeward, an Ames, Iowa, home health agency, Hauber was humbled and honored by the awards and even more gratified by the response of her colleagues and clients. “One client said, ‘Can I get your autograph?’ A colleague thanked me for being such an inspiration in our profession by staying physically fit,” she says.   “I want to be a role model for others that you can overcome difficulties.”

View the following NCSG video aboutHauber and achievements and watch for more of her story in the winter 2010 issue of DMU Magazine.

Photo borrowed from

Endlessly curious and easily entertained, Barb Dietrich Boose loves being a member of the friendly, fascinating DMU community and its creative communications team. The University's publications director and DMU Magazine editor, Barb is always on the hunt for story ideas, good books and new recipes to try out on her family, such as her surprisingly tasty pork-and-bean bars.


  • Jeff Scully

    Cindy Hauber is a fantastic representative for National Congress of State Games amateur athletes of all ages and abilities across the country. Her dedication to her own fitness, as well as her support for other athletes, even her competitors makes Cindy a perfect choice for the 2009 NCSG Female Athlete of the Year.

    She is a humble champion, but a strong advocate for fitness, as well as participation in an active and healthy lifestyle, which fits the mission of State Games from coast-to-coast, including at the Iowa Games.

    We are proud of her accomplishments and grateful for the opportunity to recognize her State Games spirit.

    Jeff Scully
    Executive Director, Maine Games
    National Congress of State Games Athletes of the Year Award Committee Chairman