World Championship gold medalist and Australia’s backstroke queen Emily Seebohm has today been nominated for one of the most prestigious sporting awards, ‘The Don Award’, presented by the Sport Australia Hall of Fame.
The Award is widely regarded as Australia’s leading contemporary sporting award and named in honour of Australian sporting Legend and our inaugural Sport Australia Hall of Fame Inductee, the late Sir Donald Bradman AC. ‘The Don’ is awarded annually to the athlete or team who; through their performance and example over the past 12 months (September 2016-August 2017) has most inspired the nation.
The triple Olympian and six-time world championship representative has been a part of the Australian Dolphins Swim Team for 11 years and is a force to be reckoned with on the world stage. After pushing through immense pain and uncertainty of the future of her swimming career in 2016, Seebohm was later diagnosed with endometriosis, just months after the Rio Olympic Games.Then in 2017 at the FINA World Championships in Budapest, the gutsy backstroker dug deep to successfully defend her world championship title in the 200m back and win gold for Australia.
In a competitive field that included the Hungarian hometown hero, Katinka Hosszu and up and comer Kathleen Baker, Seebohm stormed home to stop the clock in a new Australian and Commonwealth record time of 2:05.81. Seebohm also picked up bronze in both the 100m backstroke and the 4x100m medley relay plus a silver medal as a heat swimmer in the 4x100m freestyle relay.
Swimming Australia CEO Mark Anderson said Seebohm was well-deserving of this nomination.
“We are privileged to have an athlete like Emily as part of our team. Her performance at the 2017 World Championships was inspiring. To bounce back after a tough 2016, battling illness and to return to the top of her game and defend her World Championship title under immense pressure was a tremendous performance. This nomination is an honour for both Emily and the sport of swimming,” Anderson said.
No stranger to this prestigious Award, Seebohm was previously nominated in 2015 after winning dual gold in the 100 and 200m backstroke events at the FINA World Championships in Kazan.The presentation of the award will occur at the Sport Australia Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Gala Dinner on Thursday 12 October at the Palladium at Crown in Melbourne.
The first Don Award recipients were cricketer Mark Taylor and marathon runner Heather Thurland who shared the inaugural award in 1998. Previous swimmers to win the award have been Ian Thorpe in 1999, Petria Thomas in 2004 and Grant Hackett in 2005. Other winners of the Award include the likes of sporting legends, Sally Pearson, Cadel Evans and Cathy Freeman.
For more information go to http://www.sahof.org.au/
Press release courtesy of Swimming Australia