Speed Skating Canada well represented at the 30th Annual Canadian Sport Awards

The Spirit of Sport Foundation (SSF) officially announced its list of finalists for the 30th Annual Canadian Sport Awards (CSA), presented by Investors Group, at a news conference held Thursday, February 13th in Toronto.

Speed Skating Canada is well represented with seven finalists in five award categories - Athletic Performance, Leadership in Sport, Corporate Excellence, Spirit of Sport Story of the Year, and Spirit of Sport Inspired Youth Award. In total 45 finalists were announced.

"The Spirit of Sport Foundation congratulates all of the finalists we recognized today for their commitment, drive, determination and passion - both on and off the playing field," said Victor Lachance, Chair, Spirit of Sport Foundation. "The Spirit of Sport Foundation is extremely proud to be celebrating 30 years of sporting excellence in Canada. These finalists are inspiring role models for all Canadians."

"As Secretary of State for Amateur Sport, I would like to congratulate all of the finalists announced today. All of the nominees are leaders within the Canadian Sport System. Sport touches the lives of all Canadians, and the Canadian Sport Awards provide an opportunity to share in the accomplishments of these outstanding individuals," said the Honourable Paul DeVillers, Secretary of State for Amateur Sport.

"It is a great honour to be nominated for a Canadian Sport Award," said Marc Gagnon, Olympic short-track speed skater, a finalist for the CSA 2002 Male Athlete of the Year award. "My sport has had a very positive effect on me and my family and I hope my experience inspires young people to stay active in the sport, to respect themselves and respect others."

Established in 1972, the Canadian Sport Awards are Canada's premier recognition event for sporting excellence. In honour of the 30th anniversary, the SSF today unveiled a new signature trophy, entitled Triumph, by renowned Canadian sculptor Lorne Winters. Chosen from a competition among members of the Sculptors Society of Canada, Winters' winning design figuratively captures the universal symbol of triumph, raised arms, in completion of any event or game. This trophy will be given to all CSA recipients.

Each November, the Spirit of Sport Foundation calls for nominations from the general public and the Canadian sporting community. Accepted nominations are forwarded to the Selection Advisory Committee (SAC) for initial review and sent to two juries. Jury ballots for all categories are submitted to KPMG directly for final tally. The winners are announced at the Canadian Sport Awards.

CSA 2002 Finalists

Athletic Performance Awards

The finalists in the Athletic Performance Category for the 30th Annual Canadian Sport Awards, recognizing and celebrating outstanding athletic performance in 2002 are:

Male Athlete of the Year

- Marc Gagnon, Speed Skating - Short Track
- Roland Green, Cycling - Mountain Bike
- Jeremy Wotherspoon, Speed Skating - Long Track

Female Athlete of the Year

- Catriona Le May Doan, Speed Skating - Long Track
- Beckie Scott, Cross Country Skiing
- Jennifer Smith Ogg, Boxing

Partners of the Year

- Daniel Nestor - Doubles Tennis
- David Pelletier and Jamie Salé - Figure Skating
- Men's Short Track Relay Team - Speed Skating

Leadership Awards

The finalists in the Leadership Awards Category for the 30th Annual Canadian Sport Awards, recognizing and celebrating an individual's outstanding contribution to the betterment of sport in 2002 are:

Volunteer Achievement Award

- John Cavar, Speed Skating Canada
- Sheldon Lanchbery, Canadian Hockey Association
- Dick Pound, IOC and Canadian Olympic Committee

Coach of the Year

- Danièle Sauvageau, Hockey
- Mike Spracklen, Rowing
- Guy Thibault, Speed Skating

Corporate Excellence Awards
This year's finalists of the Corporate Excellence Awards for the 30th Annual Canadian Sport Awards, recognizing and celebrating corporations who provided outstanding support to Canadian sport in 2002 are:

National Team Support

- Descente
- Hudson's Bay Co. (HBC)/Zellers
- Tim Horton's

Canadian Sport Awards

The CSA Gala will take place at the CBC's Canadian Broadcasting Centre in downtown Toronto on March 25, 2003 and will be aired during prime time on CBC Television on Wednesday, March 26, 2003. Ron MacLean will host the show.

This formal event brings together more than 700 leaders from the sporting and corporate communities who represent the pinnacle of commitment and competition, including Canadian amateur athletes, coaches, sport leaders and volunteers. The event promotes sporting excellence across Canada, and reminds Canadians how sport lifts the human spirit. It is a tribute to the hard work, dedication and victories of our country's finest.

For more information on the 30th Annual Canadian Sport Awards, visit the Spirit of Sport Foundation's web site, www.spiritofsport.ca