Kyrgios shortlisted for “Don” award
Tennis young gun Nick Kyrgios is among several decorated sports stars vying for the annual title of Australia's most inspiring athlete.
Tennis young gun Nick Kyrgios, track queen Sally Pearson and Formula One ace Daniel Ricciardo are among those in the running for the annual title of Australia’s most inspiring athlete.
Named after famed batsman Don Bradman, “The Don” Award is presented by the Sport Australia Hall of Fame to a sportsperson who has most inspired the nation during the past year.
NBA champion Patty Mills, Commonwealth Games gold medal-winning marathon runner Michael Shelley, cricketer Mitchell Johnson and aerial skier Lydia Lassila are also vying for 2014’s accolade.
Kygrios’ giant-killing Wimbledon run – where he pulled off one of the biggest upsets in Wimbledon history by beating world No.1 Rafael Nadal to reach the quarter-finals – scored him a nod, while Ricciardo’s Grand Prix wins in Canada, Hungary and Belgium got him a spot on the shortlist.
Mills was recognised for becoming the first player of Australian indigenous heritage to win an NBA championship ring, playing a key role in the San Antonio Spurs’ victory.
Johnson’s Ashes endeavours secured his nomination.
Pearson, who picked up her first Don following her successful London Games campaign in 2012, said the award marked a “pinnacle in an athlete’s career”.
“Don Bradman symbolised everything that was wonderful in sport,” she said.
Lassila is also a second-time nominee for her bronze medal efforts in Sochi, having won the Don Award in 2010 after her Vancouver Winter Olympics victory.
“What was more important than any ‘hardware’ I’ve ever received was reaching my personal quest of becoming the first woman to ever perform a quad twisting triple somersault,” she said.
“I am really humbled to be nominated for the Don Award for a second time.”
Said Sport Australia Hall of Fame Chairman John Bertrand AM: “At the core of this award is the values set (by) Donald Bradman, which include dignity, integrity, courage and modesty in compatibility with pride, ambition and competitiveness.
“All seven have demonstrated those values.”
The winner will be announced at a gala dinner in Melbourne on 9 October.
They will succeed golfer Adam Scott, who won in 2013 after his historic US Masters triumph.