Stanford’s Nicole Stafford Wins Honda Inspiration Award

Photo Courtesy: Stanford Athletics

Senior swimmer Nicole Stafford was named the Honda Inspiration Award winner as announced Friday by Judy Sweet, Board Member and Chair of The Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) Awards Inspiration Award committee.

“I am extremely humbled to receive the 2017 Honda Inspiration Award and I want to thank the CWSA for providing this opportunity,” Stafford said. “I would like to recognize the other two finalists, Jesse and Bailey, who are just as deserving of this award for their amazing achievements attained after incredible hardships. I would also like to thank Stanford for nominating me for this award as well as for the support over my collegiate swimming career. Furthermore, I want to thank my parents, coaches Greg, Tracy and Joey, and my trainer Scott for their continual support and patience, and, most importantly, my teammates for always knowing how to help me even when I didn’t ask and inspiring me to push my limits in the pool.

“Finally, I would like to accept this award on behalf of my club coach and previous Stanford Women’s assistant coach Jason Turcotte who passed away unexpectedly this week. Jason was an essential figure in my life when I first developed my movement disorder before coming to Stanford. I received news about the award while attending his funeral service. I can’t help but think that without his belief in me I would have lacked the confidence to continue my swimming career.”

Stafford’s inspiring story will be highlighted during the live CBS Sports Network telecast of the CWSA Awards program presented by Honda at 6 p.m. PT on Monday, June 26, from the USC Founders Club at Galen Center.

Honda Inspiration Award has been given to a deserving female student-athlete in Division I, II or III for the past 28 years. The award is for those who experienced extraordinary physical and/or emotional adversity, injury and/or illness, or experienced extraordinary personal sacrifice during her college enrollment as a student-athlete and yet returns to athletic success. Finalists for the 2017 award included senior skier Jesse Knori and junior swimmer Bailey Scott.

“We are really appreciate the CWSA for recognizing Nicole, and the other two finalists, Jesse and Bailey, who all have amazing stories,” said head coach Greg Meehan. “Nicole was always a big inspiration for us, seeing all she has gone through and experienced over the last four years, and all of the challenges and adversity she faced. It was so easy to look at Nicole as a source for inspiration and motivation. You just feel so great for her.”

More About the Award

Chris Voelz, Executive Director of The CWSA said, “The Honda Inspiration Award winner holds a special place in our hearts as she is an inspiring and courageous woman representing her school and intercollegiate athletics in a very significant way. The finalists this year are no exception. Each has overcome significant adversity and still returned to compete with excellence. These women serve as role models for all that is possible.”

The CWSA, in its 41st year, honors the nation’s top NCAA women athletes recognizing superior athletic skills, leadership, academic excellence and eagerness to participate in community service.  Since commencing its sponsorship in 1986, Honda has provided more than $3.5 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women’s athletics programs at the institutions.

The above press release was posted by Swimming World in conjunction with Stanford Athletics. For press releases and advertising inquiries please contact

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5 years ago

Congratulations Miss Nicole.

5 years ago

Congratulations Nicole.

Michael Maloney
5 years ago

Best day ever…..congratulations Nicole…