49th Athlete of the Year Award Winners

49th AOY Logo 2

The winners of the 49th annual Athletes of the Year Award were recognized in a ceremony held March 12, 2015 at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, organized by and hosted by Sport BC on behalf of BC’s sports community. The winning athletes are presented here in detail.

See the President’s Award winners here

Best of BC Award Winner

The recipient of the prestigious annual Best of BC award is the individual thought to have best represented BC, nationally or internationally, in either a professional or amateur sport. Presented by BC Ministry of Community, Sport & Cultural Development.

Men’s Canadian Olympic Team – Ice Hockey

Ice Hockey

The men who represented British Columbia on the Men’s Canadian Olympic Hockey Team in 2014 are Carey Price (Anahim Lake, BC), Shea Weber (Sicamous, BC), Dan Hamhuis (Smithers, BC), Duncan Keith (Penticton, BC), and Jamie Benn (Victoria, BC). The management team for Team Canada also had a strong representation from BC including Steve Yzerman (Cranbrook, BC), Ken Holland (Vernon, BC), Brad Pascall (Coquitlam, BC), and Bob Nicholson (Penticton, BC). The work ethic of the Canadian players carried them through an undefeated preliminary round in Sochi, Russia. The medal round included a thrilling 1-0 win over the United States and a 3-0 shut-out against Sweden to win the gold medal. As the defending champions, they were able to live up to their expectations allowing only three goals in six games! Canada successfully defended gold at Sochi 2014, becoming the first men’s team to do so since 1988 and the first to finish the tournament undefeated since 1984. Their relentless offensive pressure and stifling defense has earned the 2014 squad praise as perhaps the most complete Team Canada ever assembled. Team Canada would not be denied in the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Athlete With a Disability

This award recognizes an athlete with a Presented by: disability who has demonstrated extraordinary athletic performance in regional, national or international competitions in a team or individual sport. Presented by Brand.Live.

Josh Dueck

(Vernon, BC) – Para-Alpine

Leading up to his exceptional performance at the 2014 Paralympic Games, Josh took 1st place in the super-G and super combined at the World Cup Finals in Italy. Always looking to push the limits of his sport, Josh became the first person in the world to complete a back-flip in a sit-ski in 2012 and upon the completion of the 2014 Sochi Games he had become a three-time Paralympic medalist. He won his first ever Paralympic silver medal in 2010 at the Vancouver Winter Paralympics. At Sochi in 2014, he won a gold medal in super combined and a silver medal in downhill to complement his persistence in being the best. Following his great accomplishments he served as the 2014 flag bearer at the closing ceremonies in Sochi. As of the end of 2014, he has retired from competitive racing.

Female High School Athlete of the Year

This award recognizes a female athlete who was enrolled in a secondary school in the province of British Columbia and who competed in a sport, team or individual, representing her school in the 2012-2013 academic year. Presented by Epic Design.

Payten Smith

(Maple Ridge, BC) – Wrestling

This young wrestler’s success is a result of her unwavering determination and perseverance. Her tenacity in prevailing in the wrestling world is very well represented by her success in the 2013-2014 school year. On behalf of Maple Ridge Secondary School, Payten won the Provincial Champion title for senior girls wrestling for the fourth consecutive year. She also earned the title of National Champion of the girls’ juvenile freestyle wrestling and girls Greco-Roman wrestling. Payton was dominant in the sport of high school wrestling, amassing many impressive accomplishments including remaining undefeated for four-straight years, no points scored against her from 2011-2014, and the only BC girl to win gold at the Canada Summer Games. With her success, she became the first Maple Ridge Secondary School female wrestler to receive a full-ride scholarship to Simon Fraser University for Varsity Wrestling.

Male High School Athlete of the Year

This award recognizes a male athlete who was enrolled in a secondary school in the province of British Columbia and who competed in a sport, team or individual, representing his school in the 2012-2013 academic year. Presented by BCIT.

Jordan Lu

(Vancouver, BC) – Golf

In 2014, Jordan led the Prince of Wales High School golf team to the VSSAA City Championship and then played a key role in capturing the school’s first BCSSGA Provincial Championship. Jordan also successfully defended his individual title, winning the BCGAA Individual Championship for the second straight year. At the Provincial Championships, he set a record for the lowest individual score (63, 67), and the lowest team score (1-over). Jordan became the youngest golfer to win the 112th BC Men’s Amateur, and played in the U.S. Open and Canadian Open qualifiers.

Female Junior Athlete of the Year

This award recognizes extraordinary athletic performance by a female junior athlete who is competing on a team or in an individual sport in British Columbia. Presented by Infigo Imaging.

Naomi Ko

(Victoria, BC) – Golf

Naomi had a stellar 2014 season, which included winning the BC Junior Girls Amateur Championship and finishing as the runner-up at the BC Juvenile Girls Championship. She also finished 4th at the BC Women’s Amateur Championship, 4th in the Canadian Junior Girls Amateur Championship, 2nd in the AJGA St. Louis, and 13th in the AJGA Junior Girls Championship. On the national stage, Ko finished top 40 in the Canadian Women’s Amateur, 3rd in the CN Future Links Pacific Championship and won the CN Future Links Ontario Championship. She also finished top 10 in the Canadian Women’s Pro Tour BC Championship.

Male Junior Athlete of the Year

This award recognizes extraordinary athletic performance by a male junior athlete who is competing on a team or in an individual sport in British Columbia. Presented by Richmond Sport Hosting.

Samson Reinhart

(Saanichton, BC) – Ice Hockey

Reinhart won the Four Broncos Memorial Trophy for the Western Hockey League (WHL) Player of the Year, and also received the Brad Hornung Trophy for being voted the league’s most sportsmanlike player. He was also voted as a first-team all-star. Reinhart set a team record for points, with 36 goals and 69 assists for a total of 105 points as captain of the Kootenay Ice. He increased his point totals by 20 points during the 2013-2014 WHL season (35G, 50A, 85pts to 36G, 69A, 105pts). Reinhart was also one of just two 18 year olds selected to Canada’s World Junior Championship (U20) team.

College Athlete of the Year

This award recognizes an individual who competed in a sport, team or individual, and who represented a college, university/college, or institution in the province of British Columbia in the 2012-2013 academic year. Presented by SBC Insurance.

Brody Greig

(Richmond, BC) – Basketball

Brody had an outstanding 2013-2014 season with the Langara Men’s Basketball team and his lengthy list of achievements is a testament to his performance on the court. In 2014, he won PACWEST Male Athlete of the Year Across All Sports,       PACWEST Men’s Basketball Player of the Year, PACWEST first team all-star, PACWEST Provincial Championship Tournament MVP, PACWEST Athlete of the Week (3 times), CCAA National All-Canadian, CCAA National Championship MVP, CCAA Men’s Basketball National Champion, and CCAA Male Athlete of the Year Across All Sports. Along with the multiple titles he was awarded, he set records on his way to the top. He led the PACWEST in assists with 10.05 per game, led the Langara Falcons to an all-time season high in league wins with 20, he recorded 8 triple-doubles in league play and averaged a triple-double at the National Championships, he led the PACWEST with the most assists in a season and all-time assist leader, he also set the season high scoring record with 45 points, 13 rebounds, and 18 assists.

University Athlete of the Year

This award recognizes an athlete, male or female, enrolled in a recognized degree-granting university in the province of British Columbia, and who competed in a recognized Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) or National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) sport, team or individual, representing his or her school in the 2012-2013 academic season. Presented by Sport BC.

Brad Gunter

(Thompson Rivers University) – Volleyball

For the first time in their history, a member of the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack was named Player of the Year in CIS sports. In only his third university season, Brad Gunter not only established himself as one of the best offensive weapons in the country, he also etched his name in the Canada West record books in a number of statistical categories. Deservingly, the outside hitter was also named Canada West Player of the Year. In 18 league matches, Gunter, the 6-foot-6 science student led the CIS in kills (5.31) and points (6.04) per set as well as total points (404.5), while placing second in total kills (356). His kill-per-set average is a new single-season Canada West mark, while his point-per-game average ranks second all-time in the conference. He was rated the top player in the country at his position and was one of the two university athletes on the Canadian Senior “B” National team. Thanks in large part to his stellar play, Thompson Rivers finished fourth in the league standings with a 13-9 record and reached the best national ranking in program history in January 2014.

Female Senior Athlete of the Year

This award recognizes extraordinary athletic performance by a female athlete who is competing on a team or in an individual sport in British Columbia. Presented by CBC Sports.

Marielle Thompson

(Whistler, BC) – Ski-Cross

Marielle began 2014 winning her first ski cross race of the year on home soil in Nakiska, Alberta and winning again at Val Thorens, France. She placed within the top 5 in every race through the end of the Olympic qualification period. Marielle put on a dominant performance at the Sochi 2014 Olympics to claim gold for Canada. Thompson was the winner of each of her eighth-final, quarter-final and semi-final heats, before defeating teammate Kelsey Serwa in the Big Final, giving Canada the gold and silver in Women’s Ski Cross. At the age of 21, Thompson added the title of Olympic champion to an impressive resume which includes a World Championship silver medal and winning the Junior World Championship. In 2012, she became the first Canadian to win an individual ski cross Crystal Globe as the overall World Cup champion, a title she successfully regained in 2014. At the conclusion of the 2014 season, Marielle had six World Cup victories to her name and 14 podiums.

Male Senior Athlete of the Year

This award recognizes extraordinary athletic performance by a male athlete who is competing on a team or in an individual sport in British Columbia. Presented by Sp0rt BC.

Denny Morrison

(Fort St. John, BC) – Speed Skating

With his four Olympic medals, Denny Morrison is one of Canada’s most decorated long track speed skaters. At Sochi 2014, Morrison earned his first individual Olympic medals. First came silver in the 1000m, followed by a bronze medal in the 1500m. The 2014 season was one of recovering his momentum after a fractured leg took Denny out of competition in the last half of the previous season. As Denny recovered, he gathered momentum and his times and his standing improved steadily, from 11th place ranking in the 1500m and 1000m in the first world cup of the season, to gold in the 1000m, in the last world cup of the season, as well as silver in the 1500m in the second last world cup of the season. Denny was named the BC Speed Skating Senior Male Athlete of the Year, for the 8th consecutive year, as well as being selected as Speed Skating Canada Long Track Male Skater of the Year 2013-2014, a title he has achieved seven times since 2006.

Official of the Year

This award recognizes an official, male or female, who has been responsible for officiating sport events at any level of athletic competition in 2013. Presented by AllSport Insurance Marketing LTD & Elliot Special Risks.

John Carroll

(Surrey, BC) – Gymnastics

A certified provincial, national, and international judge, John has been judging gymnastics for the past 32 years. In 2014, he represented Canada at the World Championships, Commonwealth Games and Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships. John became a provincial judge in 1982. Since that time, he has judged at countless local and invitational meets, Gymnastics BC Championships and BC Winter Games. A respected judge throughout Canada, John has judged at every Canadian and Western Canadian Championships since 1986. An FIG judge since 1993, John has judged at national competitions such as Elite Canada (1989‐2014) and the Canada Winter Games. In addition to his judging duties, he has been actively involved in the growth of men’s artistic gymnastics judging in British Columbia.

Master Athlete of the Year

This award recognizes an athlete Presented by: competing in a Masters division as defined as defined by his or her sport, taking part on a team or individual sport in the province of British Columbia. Presented by City of Vancouver.

Brian Ellis

(Vancouver, BC) – Orienteering

A member of the Greater Vancouver Orienteering Club, Brian won gold in the M70 category in the long distance event at the World Masters Orienteering Championships in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Brian’s win was very significant against a very high calibre field. He sought out 12 controls and covered roughly five kilometres in 51 minutes and 31 seconds, barely beating his closest competitor by one second. The International Orienteering Federation sanctioned event is held annually, and in 2014 there were 134 participants in the 70-75 class. Competitors came from many countries and there was strong representation from the powerhouse nations of Scandinavia.

Female Coach of the Year

This inaugural award recognizes a female coach who has been responsible for coaching an amateur team or individual athletes at any level of athletic competition. Presented by Promotion Plus.

Joanne McLeod

(Burnaby, BC) – Figure Skating

Joanne is the Director of Skating at the Champs International Training Centre in the Burnaby 8 Rinks Complex. Joanne has a rich background in athlete development and is one of the very few high performance figure skating coaches in Canada that teaches mostly Canadians at the international level. Her resume includes athletes competing in the provincial, national, and international stage. Her knowledge and experience is clearly reflected in her athletes; Kevin Reynolds, Sarah Tamura, Megan Yim and Eric Liu. Kevin Reynolds won a silver medal at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, Sarah Tamura was named 2014 Novice Canadian Champion, and Megan Yim finished as a bronze medalist at the 2014 Novice Canadians. Impressively, Joanne coached three 12-year-olds (Sarah Tamura, Megan Yim and Eric Liu) to win their National Medals in 2014. In recognition of her creativity and focus to creating a successful experience for all, Joanne was awarded the 2014 Petro-Canada Coaching Excellence Award.

Male Coach of the Year

This award recognizes a male coach who has been responsible for coaching an amateur team or individual athletes at any level of athletic competition. Presented by Prince George Canada Games 2015.

Paul Eberhardt

(Vancouver, BC) – Basketball

Paul’s dedication and passion for coaching, led the Langara College men’s basketball team to a near-perfect season. The team had the most league wins in PACWEST men’s basketball with 20 wins. Their overall league and playoff record was 25 wins and 1 loss and a season overall record of 30 wins and 1 loss. This impressive record earned Paul the PACWEST Provincial Men’s Basketball Coach of the Year for the second straight year. His team was the highest scoring team in CCAA averaging 99 points per game. They won the PACWEST Men’s Basketball League Championship, the PACWEST Men’s Basketball Provincial Championship and the CCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship.

Team of the Year

This award recognizes the team that has consistently demonstrated the highest level of sportsmanship and teamwork throughout the year.  Presented by Helly Hansen.

Canadian Team Pursuit


The Canadian Team Pursuit team, consisting of BC athletes Laura Brown, Jasmin Glaesser, and Stephanie Roorda, along with Allison Beveridge, won silver in the Track World Championships in 2014, and finished on the podium at every 2013-14 Track World Cup race. Brown recently won the points race at the Manchester round of the 2013-14 UCI Track Cycling World Cup, and has joined the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Women’s Team for 2015. Glaesser won bronze at the 2012 London Olympic Games, as part of the Team Pursuit Canadian women’s team, and placed second in the women’s points race during the 2014 UCI Track World Cup in London. Roorda recently won silver in the Women’s Omnium Points Race at the 2015 Milton International Track Challenge. The Canadian Team Pursuit women’s team is ranked second in the world.

Daryl Thompson Award

This award is named in honour of the late Daryl Thompson, former chair of Sport BC. Daryl’s contributions to sport as an athlete, coach and executive officer were exemplary. This prestigious award recognizes an individual who has contributed their time in an extraordinary way to sport over a long period of time or has made a major contribution to amateur sport in British Columbia. Presented by BC Games.

Brian McCalder

(North Vancouver, BC) – Athletics

Brian McCalder has dedicated his career to “promote, encourage and develop the widest participation and the highest proficiency in the sport of Athletics”. Following a successful coaching career, Brian transitioned to sports administration and has guided the leadership team at BC Athletics since July 1974. In his 40 years of service Brian has developed BC Athletics into the leading province in Canada in Athletics. BC Athletics has the largest membership of all the provinces and often exceeds the target of having 25% of athletes on Canadian National Teams. Brian has led BC Athletics with passion and persistence through a period of great growth.   On a national level, Brian has been active as a long-time senior member of the Athletics Canada Branch Council and the Athletics Canada Planning Committee. In BC, Brian has been an avid supporter of Sport BC and in particular a founding member of the PSO Leadership Council.

Harry Jerome Comeback Award

This award is presented to an athlete who competed in a sport, individual or team, in 2013 after having suffered an unusual setback such as illness or injury. The award is named in honour of the late Henry (“Harry”) Jerome, a Canadian Olympic, Commonwealth and Pan- American Games hero. Harry was an active advocate for young people’s participation in sport. Presented by Canadian Direct Insurance.

Kimberly Joines

(Rossland, BC) – Para-Alpine Ski

Kimberly Joines has been known to say “don’t call it a comeback” as she never really “went away”. She has been a member of the Canadian Para-Alpine Ski Team since 2002. In March 2013, at the Paralympic Test Event in Sochi, her career was put into question and she was encouraged to consider retirement. In a multiple cartwheel downhill crash she injured both arms, suffered a third degree separation in her shoulder, soft tissue damage and required surgery on her collar bone. After spending time in a Russian hospital she was transferred to Vancouver for recovery and some soul searching. Rather than give up her passion for ski racing she refocused her training and putting all her energy and training into slalom and giant slalom technical events. Joines spent the 2013 summer focusing on dryland and strength training and returned to the snow in September with one goal: the 2014 Winter Paralympic Games. Barely skipping a beat after her crash, Kimberly took silver in giant slalom at the Panorama World Cup race in January 2014, followed by two more silver medals in slalom in Copper and a bronze in giant slalom. In Sochi, despite her event being rescheduled and a protest being overturned, Joines took home the bronze medal. In a good position to take gold in her giant slalom event, an equipment failure saw her crash and unable to finish. Back home, at the Canadian National Para-Alpine Championships in Whistler, Kimberly won all her events to become the National Champion in both SL & GS. In 2014, Kimberly took home multiple awards at the World Cup Podium including: 2nd in slalom (Jan 2014-Copper, USA), 3rd in giant slalom (Jan 2014-Copper, USA), 2nd in giant slalom (Jan 2014-Panorama, CAN), 3rd in giant slalom (Jan 2014-St. Mortiz, SUI), a bronze medal at the Sochi Winter Paralympic Games and last but not least, she was named Canadian Paralympic Champion in giant slalom and slalom. As the most decorated Canadian Female para-alpine skier with 42 World Cup Medals, two-time Paralympic medalist, and 32 broken bones, Kimberly continues to never give up, but works through her setback and comes back every time, stronger and better.

KidSport Community Champion Award

The KidSport Community Champion Award is presented to an individual who has made a significant and meaningful contribution to KidSport over the past year. Presented by Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers.

Kelsey Serwa

(Kelowna, BC) – Ski-Cross

“Since her incredible breakout year on the Ski Cross scene in 2010-2011, Kelsey has taken time to ensure that she gives back to the sport community in significant ways. Not only does she support her community KidSport chapter in Kelowna, she drives down to Vancouver whenever she is asked to appear at provincial KidSport events. Her enthusiastic support of KidSport on promotional videos and at the annual Ritchie Bros Corporate Kids Challenge has become legendary among our athlete ambassadors,” said KidSport BC Director Pete Quevillon. Kelsey made the switch from ski racing to ski cross in 2009 and immediately won the prestigious FIS Rookie of the Year award. She has earned 16 podium finishes, is a National Champion, a World Champion, an X Games gold medalist, two-time South American champion and an Olympic silver medalist. Currently she is taking a year to work on her human kinetics degree at UBC Okanagan. Kelsey is passionate about giving back to her community and has established the KSER Scholarship Fund, supporting grade 12 graduating athletes in Kelowna in their pursuit of athletic excellence. Her support of programs like Fast and Female and of course, KidSport, make her a natural choice for the 2015 KidSport Community Champion Award.