Media Release – February 15, 2023 – (Vancouver, B.C.)
Court Comeback Earns Marino the Harry Jerome Comeback Award
Vancouver tennis player Rebecca Marino will be honoured with the Sport BC Harry Jerome Comeback Award at the 55th Annual Athlete of the Year Awards March 9 at the Vancouver Convention Centre.
The Harry Jerome Comeback Award is presented to an individual who returns to achieve success in sport after suffering a significant or unique setback. It is named in honour of the late, great sprinter Harry Jerome, who persevered through several injuries to earn a bronze medal at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. To name just a few, previous recipients include athletes Karen Magnussen, Wayne Goss, Silken Laumann, Emily Brydon, Tory Nyhaug and most recently Emily Overholt.
Marino, 32, returned to play international tennis after stepping away from the game more than a decade ago. On and off the court she has proven an inspiration to tennis rivals and fans with her grit and determination.
“Rebecca Marino’s path to success has not been a conventional one, however it has been a path that has highlighted her resilience, determination and true passion for tennis,” notes Joe Wood, director of player development for Tennis BC. “In 2011 she reached a career-high 38th in the WTA rankings and was on the way to a promising career. Despite what seemed to be an upward trajectory, Rebecca made the difficult choice to retire from professional tennis in 2012. Many athletes would have moved on but not Rebecca.”
Indeed, years later Marino decided to return to the game and has been working her way back up the furiously competitive ladder that is women’s international tennis. In 2020 she qualified for the Australian Open, her first major tournament in some eight years. She has continued to climb up the ranks, cracking the top 100 in July 2022, a year that included her reaching the quarterfinals of the QF Citi Open in Washington and the third round of the US Open.
She ended the 2022 season at No. 65 on the WTA rankings. She has continued her strong play early in 2023, recently qualifying for the main draw at the WTA 500 Qatar Totalenergies Open in Doha. Marino has also found time to give back to her sport despite the rigors of travel and competition.
“Despite her success, she always finds time for B.C. players, regularly supporting grassroots initiatives like Tennis BC’s Girls. Set. Match events,” says Wood. “Her decision to fight back sets her apart as a shining example of athletic and personal success.”
“The Athlete of the Year Awards is a true celebration of sport in our province. Rebecca’s determination and consistent efforts to find her way back to the highest level of tennis competition is a true inspiration. We look forward to sharing her journey with pride at the upcoming Athlete of the Year Awards”, shares Sport BC’s President and CEO, Rob Newman.