Boxer Kim Clavel to Receive Pat Tillman Award for Service as Nurse at 2020 ESPYs

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJune 3, 2020

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JULY 10: An image of the late Pat Tillman is projected on a screen while Usher presents an award onstage during The 2019 ESPYs at Microsoft Theater on July 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

After leaving boxing to work as a nurse during the coronavirus pandemic, Kim Clavel will receive the Pat Tillman Award for Service at the 2020 ESPYs, per ESPN

"It is an honor to receive the Pat Tillman Award on behalf of all the health care workers battling COVID-19 on the frontlines," Clavel said. "Just as Pat put his NFL career on hold to serve his country, I felt the same duty to serve my community. Although recently I have pursued my dream of boxing, helping people is my passion and I'm proud to be able to make a difference."

The 29-year-old was 11-0 in her professional boxing career, winning the North American Boxing Federation championship belt in the flyweight division in December. She was set to defend her title in March, but the bout was canceled because of COVID-19.

The former nurse—who had left her position last August to focus on boxing—returned to action as an overnight nurse at retirement and elderly care centers.

"Helping people is my passion. Yes, I'm a boxer, but I'm a nurse too," she said in April, per Douglas Gelevan of CBC. "I'm young and healthy, and I feel like I have to do it."

The Canadian will now be honored with an award named after Pat Tillman, a former NFL player who retired and joined the military following the attacks on September 11. He was killed in Afghanistan in 2004.

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"Choosing to return to the front lines of health care amid an unprecedented global pandemic, Kim personifies the spirit of service, duty and selflessness that Pat embodied," Pat's wife Marie said of Clavel.

The ESPYs will take place June 21, although the coronavirus will prevent a live audience like in past years. Instead of the usual focus of the top athletes in each sport, the award show will honor the "service, perseverance, and courage from within the world of sports."