PERSEVERANCE AWARD – ALLISON SCHMITT
Allison Schmitt had an outstanding 2015, making it back to the top of the sport by winning the gold medal in the 200 meter freestyle at the Pan American Games in Toronto. She set the Pan Am record in the process. She also opened up about her experience with depression, and is making an effort to remove the stigma associated with mental health in athletics. In her acceptance speech, Schmitt recounted her firsthand experience with “how real depression is,” as she experienced the loss of her 17-year-old cousin to depression in May. Schmitt is hoping elite athletes will receive mental health support in the same way they receive physical support at big competitions like the Olympics.