High jumper Mike Mason of Nanoose Bay, who fought his way through injury to become one of the 48 Island athletes to compete in the 2012 London Summer Olympics, has been named winner of the Harry Jerome Comeback Award.
The annual award goes to the B.C. amateur athlete who has displayed the most “perseverance in the face of adversity” in the previous year.
The 26-year-old Mason, a graduate of Ballenas Secondary in Parksville, overcame a career-threatening ankle condition to make the Canadian Olympic team. He looked to have a medal won in London when he cleared 2.33 metres and was in the pit looking up. But he ever-so softly clipped the bar with his back heel as the bar trembled for an agonizing second before falling. Fellow Canadian Derek Drouin won bronze on a count-back. But just being in London was a victory for Mason.
“It takes a certain level of passion and drive as an athlete to overcome the obstacles Michael Mason has faced,” said Rob Newman, president and CEO of Sport B.C., in a statement.
“Through his power, conviction and dedication, he has returned in full form to be a top contender.”
The Harry Jerome is the only award announced in advance of the annual Sport B.C. athlete of the year banquet, scheduled this year for March 7 at the River Rock Show Theatre in Richmond. Past winners of the Jerome have included rower Silken Laumann of Victoria.
Among the highlights of this year’s awards nomination list, which was announced last month, is the battle between London Olympic silver-medallist swimmer Ryan Cochrane and Giro d’Italia cycling champion and CP Canadian male athlete of the year Ryder Hesjedal, both of Victoria, for 2012 B.C. male athlete of the year.
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