Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, a massive man whose physical presence appears more than matched by his commitment to excellence, has been named one of five winners of Sports Illustrated’s prestigious Sportsperson of the Year award.
Duvernay-Tardif, a graduate of McGill University’s medical school, became the fourth Canadian to win or share the honor since it was first awarded to another physician, Roger Bannister, for breaking the four-minute mile barrier in 1954.
Bannister went on to become a much-honoured neurologist. Canadians will wait–with anticipation–to see where Duvernay-Tardif’s medical career takes him.
His athletic achievements already include winning last year’s National Football League Super Bowl as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs.
In July, Duvernay-Tardif announced that he was taking a year off from pro football to join in the fight against COVID-19 in his native Quebec, by working–among other things–as an volunteer orderly in a long-term care home as he began studies in public health at Harvard University.
On Sunday Sports Illustrated announced it was honouring Duvernay-Tardif for his work on the medical front lines, as well as NBA star LeBron James, tennis player Naomi Osaka, Women’s National Basketball Association star Breanna Stewart and Duvernay-Tardif’s teammate, Patrick Mahomes, for their courage in speaking out about racial and social justice.
The five were honoured collectively as “the activist athlete.”
I dedicate this award to all the healthcare workers who have been making huge sacrifices in order to protect and care for others.
— Laurent D. Tardif (@LaurentDTardif) December 6, 2020
Duvernay-Tardif dedicated the award “to all the healthcare workers who have been making huge sacrifices in order to protect and care for others.”
With files from CBC News, RCI, The Canadian Press, Sports Illustrated