Mar2

Media Release: 49th Athlete of the Year Awards – Prestigious Awards Recipients

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For Immediate Release:

Sport BC announces recipients of the year’s most prestigious awards in amateur sport at the 2015 Athlete of the Year Awards, Presented by Canadian Direct Insurance

VANCOUVER, BC (March 2, 2015) — Sport BC is pleased to announce the recipients for three of the most prestigious awards in amateur sport in BC who will be recognized at the 2015 Athlete of the Year Awards in Vancouver on March 12, 2015.

1. DARYL THOMPSON AWARD – Brian McCalder

The Daryl Thompson 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.

Brian McCalder Burnaby, BC – Athletics

From Burnaby BC, 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 20% 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.

2. HARRY JEROME COMEBACK AWARD – Kimberly Joines

This award recognizes an athlete who competed in a sport, individual or team, in 2014 after having suffered an unusual setback (i.e. illness, injury, etc.)

Kimberly Joines Rossland, BC – Para-Alpine Ski

The 2015 Harry Jerome Comeback Award is being presented to Kimberly Joines, who 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 and during her long career has sustained many injuries and has returned to competition time and time again. But in March 2013, at the Paralympic Test Event in Sochi, her career was put into question and she was encouraged to consider presented by 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; giving up speed events where she has sustained most of her injuries in the past 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. She finished the season injury free with a positive outlook on the next season, excited to see Canada host the World Championships in Panorama in March 2015. 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.

3. BEST OF BC – Men’s Canadian Olympic Team – Ice Hockey

The recipient of the prestigious annual Best of BC award is the individual or team thought to have best represented BC, nationally or internationally, in either a professional or amateur sport.

Men’s Canadian Olympic Team – 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 presented by 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.

The 49th annual Athlete of the Year Awards Ceremony and Gala dinner is set for March 12th, 2015 at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. This event recognizes BC’s best amateur athletes, coaches, and officials for outstanding performances in sport over the 2014 season.

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About Sport BC’s Athlete of the Year Awards:

The Sport BC Athlete of the Year Awards is the longest standing sport recognition event in Canada. Awards in 17 different categories are given each year to athletes, coaches, and officials for their performance and contribution to sport in our province. The awards play a valuable role in nurturing athletic success and recognizing BC’s growing talents.

This year’s event, hosted by CBC’s Scott Russell, is expected to sell out so don’t be disappointed and order your tickets today at https://www.eply.com/AthleteoftheYear2015

Previous Athlete of the Year winners include hall of famers Rick Hansen, Steve Nash and Maelle Ricker.

About Sport BC:

Sport BC is the non-profit sport federation, representing over 60 Provincial Sport Organizations in British Columbia. As a member-based organization, Sport BC offers services and programs to build the capacity of our members and advocate on their behalf to improve the landscape for organized sport in BC. As a leader in the sport system, Sport BC strengthens and builds the capacity of the Provincial Sport Organization in order to encourage and foster the growth of sport in British Columbia.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Sport BC: Rob Newman President & CEO, Sport BC Tel: 604-340-8432 Email: rob.newman@sportbc.com

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For information on the purchase of a table or individual tickets for the 49th Sport BC Annual Athlete of the Year Awards

presented by Canadian Direct Insurance, please visit www.sportbc.com or contact:

Shelley Johnson Event Manager, Athlete of the Year Awards Tel: 604-875-1775 Email:shelley.johnson@sljproductions.ca