Awarded to the sportsperson or team who has overcome injury, illness, adversity, disappointment or failure and risen back to triumph in the sporting arena. The Award may also mark a historic fightback by an individual or a team in a sporting event or series of sports events.
Nominees are listed in alphabetical order.
FC Barcelona (Spain) Football
Beat Paris Saint-Germain 6-1, in the round of the last 16, to become the first team in Champions League history to overturn a first leg 4-0 deficit. In one of the greatest European ties ever seen, Barcelona were 5-3 down on aggregate in the 88th minute, but scored three goals in the final seven minutes, including injury time.
Roger Federer (Switzerland) Tennis
Missed the second half of 2016, including the Olympic Games, with recurrence of a knee injury, but came back strongly in 2017 to win his fifth Australian Open and eighth Wimbledon title, becoming only the second man in the Open Era to win Wimbledon without dropping a set. It was his 19th career Grand Slam victory.
Justin Gatlin (USA) Athletics
Following two bans for positive tests for illegal drugs in 2001 and 2006, the American sprinter completed his rehabilitation by winning a gold medal in the 100 metres in the 2017 World Championships in London in 9.92 secs, beating Usain Bolt into third place.
Sally Pearson (Australia) Athletics
Competing in her first global championship since 2013, having overcome serious wrist, hamstring and achilles injuries, she won the 100 metres hurdles gold medal in the World Championships in London, at the age of 30; the same track where she won the 2012 Olympics gold medal.
Valentino Rossi (Italy) Motor Cycling
Suffered displaced fractures of the tibia and fibula in his right leg in a training accident on August 31. He had metal supports inserted into the tibia and remarkably was back on the grid 25 days later to compete in the Aragon Grand Prix, where he finished fifth.
Chapecoense (Brazil) Football
Alan Ruschel made a courageous return to football following the tragic plane crash which killed 19 of the Chapecoense team in Colombia. FC Barcelona invited the rebuilt team to take part in a friendly in August and Ruschel played the first 35 minutes before leaving to a standing ovation. Other survivors, Jakson Follmann and Neto, appeared on the pitch before kick-off.