Calgary Booster Club picks skating star as athlete of the year


Wotherspoon gets Boost

Calgary Booster Club picks skating star as athlete of the year


By CAMERON MAXWELL -- Calgary Sun


A jet-lagged and tired Jeremy Wotherspoon still carried his trademark grin.

And why not?

After arriving home Monday from Seoul, South Korea, Wotherspoon was up early for a press conference yesterday morning at Canada Olympic Park where he was honoured as the Calgary Booster Club 2003 male athlete of the year.

It's the second time the 'Spoon has won the award (2000) but this one's perhaps a little sweeter since he's been at the top of the long-track speed skating world for most of the last seven years.

"It's nice that I've been able to keep improving and keep it at the same level to be eligible to win an award like this," said the 27-year-old, who captured the world single-distance championship in the 500 metres in Seoul, his second straight title.

"It's kind of tough because when you're improving and trying to get to the top, you have nothing to lose and you're never really afraid of anything.

"Now there are times when I'm feeling a little more stress than I did when I was 17 or 18, that's for sure.

"But it's good because learning how to repeat top performances and how to stay at a high level is definitely a more useful tool than just learning how to get there. It's harder to stay at the top once you're there."

Wotherspoon, who trains at the Olympic Oval, won both the 2003 and 2004 World Cup titles.

He also won the 2003 world sprint championship, broke the outdoor world record in the 500 at Inzell, Germany, in March last year and became the winningest male speed skater in World Cup history.

Wotherspoon will be honoured at the 51st annual Sportsman of the Year Dinner on March 25.