Skier Mikaela Shiffrin, pitcher Daniel Bard nominated for Comeback of the Year award
Shiffrin: “It’s been a lot of ups and downs, for sure”
The annual Laureus World Sports Awards, established in 1999, honors individuals and teams from the world of sports along with sporting achievements throughout the year. Categories include Sportsman and Sportswoman of the year, among others.
This year’s Laureus World Comeback of the Year nominees includes Mikaela Shiffrin, of Edwards, and the Colorado Rockies’ Daniel Bard.
“After a challenging year, we are more determined than ever to ensure that Laureus honors the men and women who made such an effort to return to sport, in many cases in a very different environment and without spectators. They gave everybody an emotional lift at a difficult time,” Laureus World Sports Academy chairman Sean Fitzpatrick said in the nominee announcement.
The Comeback of the Year nominees personify the “true spirit, determination and tenacity of athletes who have overcome hurdles to return to action,” the award states.
Shiffrin, at 25 years old, just experienced a turbulent year while also returning to ski racing and putting on a record-breaking performance at the world championships in Italy earlier in February. Shiffrin came back from a break from the sport following her father’s death to start winning again.
“It’s been a lot of ups and downs, for sure,” she said following her final race at the world championships on Saturday. “It’s been a very emotional year. Right now, I’m feeling pretty grateful to be able to smile a lot more often. Every day I feel a little more excited for the next day to come. … It’s come a long way in a year.”
Shiffrin won four medals at the world championships in all four races she competed in, becoming the most decorated American in world championships history in the process.
“Some days I feel good … and then the next day it hits you like a train. What I’ve heard is it’s like this the rest of your life,” Shiffrin said about her father. “I don’t think there’s a time I feel perfect, but these two weeks have been a big step in my ability to focus and control my emotions during the day and still fight.”
Ahead of the world championships, Shiffrin shared a touching tribute song to her father.
Bard, a pitcher for the Rockies, is also nominated for the Comeback of the Year award after returning to top level pitching after seven years because of “yips.”
Other nominees include Japan’s Kento Momota, badminton’s world No.1 who returned to competition after surviving a serious car crash; Canada’s Max Parrot who recovered from cancer to win two X-Games snowboarding gold medals; Alex Smith who came back to play for Washington in the NFL, 728 days and 17 operations after a leg injury; and soccer star Alex Morgan who made her debut for London club Tottenham just 184 days after giving birth.
Voted for by the world’s sports media, the Laureus Awards will be announced in May as part of a virtual awards event aimed at not only celebrating the highest sporting achievement but also honoring those whose actions have transcended the court, track or field of play.
For more information, visit http://www.laureus.com.