Michael Phelps named Laureus World Comeback Of The Year

5-time Olympian Michael Phelps can add yet another acknowledgement to his ever-growing list of career accolades. The 31-year-old Baltimore native was just named ‘World Comeback of the Year’ by the Laureus Awards. The annual ceremony honoring nominees in 7 categories, including Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year, took place on February 14th in Monaco, the birthplace of the awards themselves.

Laureus is an organization composed of programs designed to ‘harness the power of sport to promote social change’ around the world. Its endeavors such as the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation and the Laureus World Sports Academy help provide financial and practical support to sporting programs all over the world, in addition to tackling social challenges in the process. Among Laureus ambassadors worldwide are swimmers Missy Franklin (USA) and Ryk Neethling (South Africa).

Phelps made his mark at his final Olympic Games by hauling in 5 golds and 1 silver medal to top out his career with a total of 28 Olympic medals in all. Individually, he made a comeback in the 200 fly after being upset in the event in 2012 and also sealed the deal on a historic 4-peat with his gold in the 200 IM. Phelps also helped the USA take a clean sweep of relay wins.

His history-making appearance in Rio was the final act in a tumultuous final few years of his career, which included another DUI arrest, followed by a suspension and absence from Team USA’s roster at the 2015 World Championships. The soon-to-be Arizona State University volunteer Assistant Coach has since turned his life around via a treatment center stint, re-dedication to training and a healthy lifestyle, along with marriage to Nicole Johnson and embracing fatherhood.

Phelps was nominated for Comeback of the Year alongside Ruth Beitia (high jump), Juan Martin Del Potro (tennis), Fabienne St Louis (triathlon), Nick Skelton (equestrian), and Aksel Lund Svindal (skiing).

American Katie Ledecky was in the running for Sportswoman of the Year, but the honors went to Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast Simone Biles.

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SwimmerFoxJet
5 years ago

This was well deserved, but I almost wonder why he didn’t earn it in 2015. Swimming had become a lot more boring since he left, and the main excitement I got from it was my own time in the pool. However, a lot more people are going to be getting gold, silver, and bronze medals 🙂 I had to take a break from stalking the swimming world for a few months till I was ready to jump back into the fray.

Cate
Reply to  SwimmerFoxJet
5 years ago

Because it was awarded to Shalk Burger, a man who recovered from spinal meningitis to rejoin his team which earned a bronze medal at the world cup. What he had to overcome in 2015 was not self induced. After saying that Phelps does deserve it this year.

SwimmerFoxJet
Reply to  Cate
5 years ago

+Cate My point is that this performance wasn’t surprising. It’s like they skipped 2015. I didn’t mean he should have won that in 2015 (I’m sorry if I implied that). 2016 was such a different year than 2014, but 2015 was also great.

gii
5 years ago

Figured. Biles attended, Ledecky didn’t, at Laureus those attendances were usually the winners.
Let’s hope Ledecky will be rewarded AAU Sullivan Award this year, at least.
Couldn’t think of any others amateur athlete more deserve than her.
PS: She was nominated at 2015 for Pan Pacs performance and didn’t win, didn’t get nomination for Kazan(!), this is too obscure.

Cate
Reply to  gii
5 years ago

Yeah, I was disappointed that Ledecky didn’t get an award. Makes you wonder what she has to do.

Onii-chan
5 years ago

Congratulations, Phelps-san! Onii-chan and I always believed in you!

Steff
5 years ago

Congrats well deserved

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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