The Sports Star of the Year Awards Show, longest-running celebration of its kind in the nation, is undeterred by COVID-19 and back for its 87th renewal. Normally in February, the 2022 edition, presented by the Seattle Sports Commission, will be live at the Westin Hotel May 26 — hopefully beyond the reach of the pandemic.
For the first time, FOX 13 and FOX 13+ will record the event and broadcast/stream it in early June.
Voting for the three award categories in 2021 that are open to the public is underway online at sportsstarofthreyear.org/vote and closes at midnight Sunday.
The three categories: Sports Star of the Year / Men, Sports Star of the Year / Women, and Sports Story of the Year.
Because of the pandemic, the event was held virtually last year. A one-hour program was broadcast on KING, a milestone for the event begun in 1936 by sports editor Royal Brougham of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, which produced the event until the newspaper’s demise in 2009.
Brougham’s “little clambake,” as he called it, finally became a TV show.
“Last year’s Sports Star was a tremendous foray into a televised event,” said SSC president Beth Knox in a statement. “With a broadcast under our belt, and protocols in place for an in-person event, we are so pleased to bring our sports community back under one roof for a much-deserved evening of celebration, and to continue to share this celebration with Washingtonians across the state through our partnership with FOX 13.
“This year will be truly special as we put the spotlight on why Sports Star is Washington’s biggest night out for sports.”
Among the 21 nominees in the public categories is four-time Paralympic medalist and Lake Stevens native Katie Holloway, who won gold in sitting volleyball at Tokyo 2020.
“Wow — I am blown away!” said Holloway of her nomination. “Seattle truly has my whole heart, and now to have this nomination from the Seattle Sports Commission is so exciting. I can’t believe I am considered among some of my favorite sports heroes from Washington. What an honor!”
Though previous Sports Star winners cannot be nominated again for the same category, athletes can be nominated multiple years, as are the cases this year with repeat nominations for Mitch Haniger (Mariners), Nevin Harrison (Olympic sprint canoe) and WR Tyler Lockett (Seahawks).
“Tyler exemplifies what it means to be a true champion both on and off the field,” said Seahawks president Chuck Arnold. “Beyond his numerous accomplishments on the field, Tyler is dedicated to serving the community through many philanthropic endeavors, and uses his platform to encourage and inspire fans from around the world.”
Nominees are selected by the Sports Star Committee, comprised of local sports historians, media and other members of the sports industry, and then voted on by the general public. Winners in another six categories are also selected by the committee: Royal Brougham Legend Award, Keith Jackson Sports Media Award, Paul G. Allen Humanitarian Award, Wayne Gittinger Youth Inspirational Award, Equity and Inclusion in Sports Award, Sports Executive Award.
Winners in all nine categories will be announced at the live event May 26.
Nominees for the 87th Annual Sports Star of the Year Awards:
Sports Star of the Year | Women’s Sports
● Sophia Chilczuk, Seattle Pacific University soccer
● Jess Fishlock, OL Reign
● Nevin Harrison, Olympian, sprint canoe
● Katie Holloway, Paralympian, sitting volleyball
● Jewell Loyd, Seattle Storm
● Gabbie Plain, University of Washington softball
● Ella May Powell, University of Washington volleyball
Sports Star of Year | Men’s Sports
● Eric Barriere, Eastern Washington University football
● Corey Kispert, Gonzaga men’s basketball
● Mitch Haniger, Seattle Mariners
● Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks
● Cristian Roldan, Seattle Sounders FC
● Dylan Teves, University of Washington soccer
● University of Washington men’s rowing
Sports Story of the Year
● Climate Pledge Arena’s grand opening
● Gonzaga men’s basketball hits 31-0
● OL Reign’s Quinn makes Olympics history
● Seattle Kraken is unleashed
● University of Washington men’s soccer reaches national championship game
● University of Washington volleyball’s championship pursuit
● Washington State University women’s basketball reaches new heights