Blondin, Boutin, Fish & Dubois Named Athletes of the Year

This year’s winners earned a combined 28 individual medals on the World Cup and World Championships stage

OTTAWA, ONTARIO – Ivanie Blondin, Kim Boutin, Graeme Fish and Steven Dubois were announced today as Speed Skating Canada’s Athletes of the Year in their respective disciplines. These four incredible skaters established two new World Records and earned a combined 28 individual medals on the World Cup and World Championships stage this season, while helping Canada win another 10 in team disciplines such as relays and team pursuits.

First awarded in 1968, the Athlete of the Year Award recognize an athlete who has demonstrated exceptional commitment to success during the season through outstanding performance at national or international competitions, dedication to the training program, continued growth in physical and technical abilities, and contributions to sport or community development.

Long Track Athlete of the Year (Female): Ivanie Blondin

Blondin (Ottawa, Ont.) was crowned world champion in the mass start and became only the fifth Canadian woman to reach the podium at the World Allround Championships, where she won silver. The 29-year old won 11 medals on the World Cup circuit this past season, including gold in five different distances (1500m, 3000m, 5000m, Mass Start and Team Pursuit). She led the women’s team pursuit squad to a first-place World Cup ranking and World Championship bronze, while also finishing the season ranked first overall in the mass start and third in long distances.

This is Blondin’s fifth career Catriona Le May Doan Award for female long track athlete of the year, having previously won four in-a-row from 2015 to 2018. Five awards ties her with Cindy Klassen, both of whom sit behind six-time winner Susan Auch and seven-time winner Le May Doan.

Short Track Athlete of the Year (Female): Kim Boutin

Boutin (Sherbrooke, Que.) captured nine individual World Cup medals this season, including five straight gold in the 500m. She also helped the women’s relay team win four medals, including their first gold since the 2014-2015 season. At the World Cup in Salt Lake City, she established a new world record in the 500m, becoming the first ever women to skate the distance in under 42-seconds (41.936). The 25-year old – who kicked off the year with a perfect six-for-six performance at the 2019 Canadian Short Track Championships – finished the shortened season ranked second overall and first in the 500m.

This marks the second time Boutin has received the Nathalie Lambert Award for Canada’s top female short track skater, the first coming in 2018 after she won three medals at the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang.

Long Track Athlete of the Year (Male): Graeme Fish

Fish (Moose Jaw, Sask.) capped off his breakout international season with a world record performance and world championship title in the 10,000m at the World Single Distance Championships in Salt Lake City. His time of 12:33.868 bested teammate Ted-Jan Bloemen’s mark from 2015. He also earned world championship bronze in the 5000m at the same event. The 22-year old won the first individual World Cup medal of his career in Nur-Sultan this past December, skating to bronze in the 10,000m. He would add 5000m bronze in Calgary and 5000m silver at the World Cup Final in Heerenveen, which helped propel him to a third overall World Cup ranking in long distances.

This is Fish’s first career Jeremy Wotherspoon Award for male long track athlete of the year. He becomes only the third Saskatchewan native to claim the prize, joining Lucas Makowsky (2011) and the award’s namesake Jeremy Wotherspoon, who won it nine times between 1998 and 2008.

Short Track Athlete of the Year (Male): Steven Dubois

Dubois (Lachenaie, Que.) was Canada’s most decorated male short track skater this past season, winning four individual World Cup medals, including his first career gold medal in the 500m in Dresden. The 23-year old also anchored the men’s relay team to gold in Dordrecht and bronze in Salt Lake City. He also earned three silver medals en route to a second-place finish at the inaugural Four Continents Championships in Montreal. After dominating the 2019 Canadian Short Track Championships, winning all six gold medals, he finished the shortened international season ranked 11th overall, with top-10 results in all three distances.

This is Dubois’ first Marc Gagnon Award for Canada’s male short track athlete of the year. The recently retired Samuel Girard won it each of the past three seasons, while national team veteran Charles Hamelin brought it home a record 10 times between 2005 and 2016.

Quotes

“Last season was an incredible season for me, and I obviously couldn’t have done it without my teammates, my coaches, my support staff and everyone else that supports me, including our fans. Now we’re seeing some different times and we’re not quite sure what’s going to happen with our upcoming season, but just know that if it’s going to go ahead I’ll be ready and I know my teammates are also going to be ready as well. We’re hoping to have another incredible season!” – Ivanie Blondin

“J’aimerais vous remercier pour le prix d’athlète de l’année. C’était une saison assez mémorable que je vais me souvenir pour toute ma vie, avec mon record du monde au 500 m. Un gros merci de me suivre dans mon parcours. Chaque année j’ai des nouveaux défis afin que je puisse être la meilleure version de moi-même, en tant qu’athlète et que personne, donc merci beaucoup de me supporter dans tout ça. Un gros merci aussi aux filles de l’équipe! Je pense que ç’a été une saison mémorable, ou qu’on est allé chercher l’or au relais, et ça va être quelque chose que je vais garder dans mon cœur pour longtemps.” – Kim Boutin

« J’aimerais remercier Patinage de vitesse Canada pour tout le support qu’ils nous accordent et surtout un grand merci de m’avoir choisi en tant qu’athlète masculin de l’année. Je suis vraiment content. J’ai eu une super saison l’année dernière, avec les mes meilleurs résultats [en carrière], et sans PVC clairement je n’aurais pas pu au tant m’améliorer dans la dernière année. » – Steven Dubois

“I’m very thankful and honoured to receive the Canadian male long track athlete of the year award. I would like to thank both my coaches – Bart Schouten and Todd McClements – as well as the IST team and my teammates who helped me achieve what I wanted to last season. And lastly, thanks to my family who have always been there and cheered me on.” – Graeme Fish