Beginning her career as a nurse, Kim Clavel left the profession to pursue her dream of boxing, but as the COVID-19 pandemic spread across North America, Clavel returned to nursing to look after the most vulnerable patients. For her dedication to serving others, Clavel will receive the Pat Tillman Award for Service sponsored by MassMutual at The 2020 ESPYS presented by Capital One airing June 21, at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN.
“It is an honor to receive the Pat Tillman Award on behalf of all the healthcare workers battling COVID-19 on the frontlines,” said Kim Clavel. “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.”
Hailing from Joliette, Quebec, Kim Clavel made her professional boxing debut on December 16, 2017. She took a year-long leave from nursing last August to focus on her emerging boxing career as a light flyweight. Clavel proved her passion for the sport, compiling a record of 11-0 with two knockouts and winning her first professional title via unanimous decision to become the North American Boxing Federation flyweight champion in December 2019 in Montreal. Scheduled to defend her title on March 21, 2020, Clavel’s match was cancelled as COVID-19 began escalating in North America. Instead of lacing up her boxing gloves, Clavel made the choice to return to her scrubs. Since then, Clavel has worked tirelessly as an overnight nurse at retirement and elderly care centers. She’s acutely aware that her patients are vulnerable not only to the virus, but to the isolation and loneliness it imposes. It’s exhausting, challenging work. But she knows she’s making a difference – a fighter-turned-caregiver, serving where she’s needed most.
“Choosing to return to the front lines of healthcare amid an unprecedented global pandemic, Kim personifies the spirit of service, duty and selflessness that Pat embodied,” said Marie Tillman, board chair and co-founder of the Pat Tillman Foundation. “In spite of the dangers from COVID and delays to her budding boxing career, Kim chose to focus her energy on those most in need. In Pat’s name, we are honored to present the Tillman Award to Kim for her service and leadership in her healthcare work and throughout this crisis.”
The Pat Tillman Award for Service was established in 2014 to commemorate the former NFL player and U.S. Army Ranger’s legacy, and honoring an individual with a strong connection to sports who has served others in a way that echoes Tillman’s legacy. Kim Clavel will be presented with the award during The 2020 ESPYS in conjunction with the Pat Tillman Foundation, a national leader in providing academic support and scholarships to veterans, active-duty service members and their spouses. Past honorees include U.S. Paralympic gold medal sled hockey player and Purple Heart recipient Josh Sweeney (2014), and former Notre Dame basketball player, Iraq war veteran and Purple Heart recipient Danielle Green (2015), U.S. Army Sgt. and Invictus Games gold medalist Elizabeth Marks (2016), and Purple Heart recipient and Invictus Games gold medalist Israel Del Toro (2017), Navy-Marine Commendation Medal recipient, Sergeant and founder of Team Rubicon Jake Wood (2018) and former Marine and founder of the Kristie Ennis Foundation, Kristie Ennis (2019).
The 2020 ESPYS will include the Sports Humanitarian Awards, sponsored by Bristol Myers Squibb, with several key awards including the Billie Jean King Youth Leadership Award presented by Anthem Foundation and the Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award presented by Dove Men+Care, among others.
The ESPYS helps to raise awareness and funds for the V Foundation for Cancer Research, the charity founded by ESPN and the late basketball coach Jim Valvano at the first ESPYS back in 1993. ESPN has helped raise more than $116 million for the V Foundation over the past 27 years.
ABOUT THE PAT TILLMAN FOUNDATION
In 2002, Pat Tillman proudly put his NFL career with the Arizona Cardinals on hold to serve his country. Family and friends established the Pat Tillman Foundation following Pat’s death in April 2004 while serving with the 75th Ranger Regiment in Afghanistan. Created to honor Pat’s legacy of leadership and service, the Pat Tillman Foundation unites and empowers remarkable military veterans and spouses as the next generation of public and private sector leaders committed to service beyond self. For more information on the Pat Tillman Foundation and the impact of the Tillman Scholars, visit www.PatTillmanFoundation.org.
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