KITCHENER -- Every sports fan knows a comeback can happen at any time, and on Tuesday evening Waterloo Region's athlete of the year awards made a comeback of its own.

The event took on an online format to return for the first time since being cancelled in 2018.

As a result of the one-year hiatus, two awards were presented for both 2018 and 2019.

Out of a database of more than 1,000 athletes, the organizing committee selected world masters squash champion, Howard Armitage, as the 2018 recipient.

“My family is here with me in the room. We're just in here drinking wine, never, ever expecting this particular outcome. Thank you so much, John. And if the word humble isn't too heavily used, I really feel that right now,” said Armitage while accepting his award virtually on Tuesday.

World indoor lacrosse champion Mike Poulin was honoured as the 2019 athlete of the year.

“I just want to thank my family. My wife and my three sons, they allowed me to travel for lacrosse. They supported me with all my training and all the competitions. And my mom and dad, they got me started,” said Poulin during his acceptance speech.

Some familiar past winners of the award include NHL player Mark Scheifele and NBA player Jamal Murray.