The 51st Annual Athlete of the Year Awards Ceremony and Gala dinner took place on Wednesday, March 8, 2017, recognizing BC’s best in amateur sport, including athletes, coaches, and officials for outstanding performances in their sport over the 2016 season. This is the longest standing sport recognition event in Canada, and this year signifies a historic achievement for sport with the 51st anniversary of the event.
“This year’s nominees in all the award categories are certainly a testament to the strength and depth of sport development in our province over the last 51 years,” noted Sport BC President & CEO, Rob Newman.
Maggie Coles-Lyster won the Female Junior Athlete category, recognizing her incredible achievements in 2016: competing for Team Canada at World Championships in three disciplines: track, road, and cyclo-cross, including a bronze medal in track; setting four Canadian records for junior women’s track cycling; and coming away with seven national titles from the Canadian Junior Road and Track Championships.
Tristen Chernove’s stellar year was aptly recognized as he won the SportBC award for Athlete with a Disability. Cherove raced his first national and international events in 2016, where he won multiple national and world championship titles in track cycling. Chernove’s hard work and determination took him all the way to the Rio 2016 Paralympics, where he won gold, silver, and bronze medals in track and road events, and also set a new record for the Paralympic Men’s C2 1000 m Time Trial.
Finn Iles had a historic year in his first year competing in the Junior category in downhill mountain biking. In 2016, Iles became the first Canadian to place in the top three, and to win the Junior Downhill World Championships, the first Canadian to win both Downhill World Cup and World Championship titles in the same year, and the second Canadian male ever to make it to the World Championship podium, following Canadian mountain bike icon, the late Steve Smith.
Stuart Lynne was also recognized for his significant volunteer contributions to the sport and the cycling community here in BC. Lynne received the Presidents’ Award, presented annually to those who represent the spirit of volunteerism, and whose dedication, energy, and commitment contribute to development of the sport. Lynne’s tireless commitment to supporting and developing cycling in BC touches all aspects of the sport, from organizing and running races, creating and streamlining race results, acting on the board of directors of Escape Velocity, one of the largest and most active clubs in the province, to serving on the board of Cycling BC.
Congratulations to all on this well-deserved recognition; we look forward to seeing what the future brings!