Sports Fed awards
Canada’s top amateur athletes for 1979 are downhill skier Ken Read and synchronized swimming champion Helen Vanderburg, both of Calgary. The awards were presented on January 11 in Toronto. Selections were made by the Canadian Sports Award Committee of the Sports Federation of Canada.
Read was chosen on the basis of his fourth place world ranking achieved during the 1978-79 World Cup ski season. Runner-up was cyclist Gordon Singleton of Niagara Falls, who won gold medals in both the sprint and 1 km time trial events at the 1979 Pan American Games in Puerto Rico.
Vanderburg’s selection was based on her double gold medal performance at both the Pan Ams and at the FINA Cup held in Tokyo last September and on her solo gold medal won at the Pan Pacific championships held in November in New Zealand. Runners-up were world champion trapshooter Susan Nattrass of Edmonton; world champion water skier Pat Messner of Ottawa; and high jumper Debbie Brill of Aldergrove, B.C. who won her event at the World Cup in Montreal last September.
In the under-20 category, top male athlete is world champion water skier Joel McClintock of Streetsville, Ont. Runner-up was swimmer Alex Baumann of Sudbury, gold medallist in 400m individual medley at the FINA Cup.
Best female athlete under 20 is speedskater Sylvie Daigle of Quebec City, who was all-round champion at the 1979 World Indoor Speedskating Championships in Quebec City. Runner- up to Daigle was swimmer Sheila Dezeeuw of Burlington, Ont., gold medallist in 200m breaststroke at the FINA Cup.
Top Canadian team for 1979 was the Rocky Mountain High Parachute team which won the gold medal in two successive world championships, in 1977 in Australia and in 1979 in France. Runner-up was Canada’s women’s basketball team which turned in outstanding performances at the 1979 world championships and Pan American Games.
The Doug Gilbert media awards, presented in three categories, went to Bob Gage of the London Free Press, sportswriter of the year; Fred Walker of CBC Radio, sportscaster of the year; and Nick Thierry of Swim Magazine, sports magazine volunteer editor. And the Donald King Memorial Trophy to a deserving volunteer administrator went to Margaret Walden of Toronto in recognition of her years of contribution to table tennis.
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