ITU Long Distance World Champion Camilla Pedersen this weekend was honoured with a pair of prestigious Danish sports awards. The first of the two awards, Pedersen was named Årets Sportsnavn (Athlete of the year), which was decided on by Danmarks Idrætsforbund (Danish Sports Federation), Team Danmark (the organization that supports Danish top-athletes) and Jyllands-Posten (Danish Newspaper). Topping off a night of well deserved accolades, Pedersen also received the BT Guld (Best athlete) award, which is voted on by a group of 40 Danish athletes.
Not only did Pedersen become a World Champion for the first time this year, she did so after enduring a training accident on her bike late in 2013 that required her to be in an induced coma for a month with doctors doubting the eventual outcome.
Pederson defied the odds and made a full recovery. Despite it all, she somehow found the energy to begin training again after her brush with death.
Almost a year to the day of her accident, Pederson not only competed in, but clenched her first world title in the ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championships in Weihai, China.
On winning the Årets Sportsnavn award, Pedersen said:
“The last 16 months I’ve been through the hardest time of my life to return to the sport that I love. It wouldn’t have been possible without my family, my friends, my sponsors, my coach and all those people that last year helped me economically so that I could return to life and the top of the triathlon elite. This prize is for you. Thanks.”
Following the BT Guld award, Pedersen said:
“Wow. Thanks to all the people who sent a vote in my direction. I’m so happy to be back in competition. I’m happy that I now can call myself a World Champion, but what makes me proud is that I’ve been competing with such strong Danish athletes. I would like to thank all who believed in me. Without you I couldn’t have made it this far. Thanks.”