Stanford’s Nicole Stafford and Alabama’s Bailey Scott have been announced as 2 of the 3 finalists for the 2017 Honda Inspiration Award. The third finalists is senior skier Jesse Knori from Colorado University.
“The Honda Inspiration Award is given to a deserving female student-athlete in Division I, II or III who has 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.”
Stafford, a senior, suffers from a functional movement disorder that has no known cure. Every time she swims she gets painful full-body spasms or tremors. Despite this adversity, Stafford was a four-year letterwinner for the Cardinal and earned her first individual NCAA All-American distinction in March, placing 16th in the 200 freestyle for honorable mention honors. She was the team captain of Stanford’s 2017 National Championship team, and was also an NCAA champion back in 2014 in the 200 medley relay.
Scott, a junior, missed the majority of the 2015-16 season after being diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, an orthopedic and vascular condition that compromises the integrity of the arms, cardiovascular system and lungs. It is considered life threatening (and limb threatening) due to the risk of blood clots. After undergoing surgery for her condition in November 2015, Scott made an unlikely comeback to the sport, fulfilling a promise to her late mother by competing at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials in Omaha.
She went onto set new school records in both the 50 and 100 freestyle at the 2017 SEC Championships, including earning bronze in the 50. At the NCAA Championships she became an All-American for the first time in her career, earning honorable mention honors with a 13th place finish in the 50 free.
Check out the full releases on Stafford’s nomination from Stanford here, and Scott’s from Alabama here. You can also check out an additional story on Stafford via Stanford Athletics here.