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ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Sue Holloway, Paddling
Rideau Canoe Club paddler Sue Holloway retired at the end of the Los Angeles Olympics, but she didn’t the world of amateur sport behind. In fact, she may have jumped from the frying pan into the fire.
She is program co-ordinator of the Canadian Olympic Association’s Toronto-based Olympic Athlete Career Centre — a much more sophisticated solution to an age-old puzzle — putting athletes in contact with sympathetic employers.
As co-ordinator, Holloway’s duties at the Olympic Athlete Career Centre will include liaison with designated contacts in the COA member sports to ensure delivery of COA services. She will also be a contact for athletes’ enquiries as to their status with the OACC.
Holloway, ACT athlete of the year for 1973 — like Glenda Reiser before her a winner the first time she held the paddling nomination — has a wealth of sports from which to draw in the new role. That even includes ironmen competitions.
She is one of few Canadians ever to make both Summer and Winter Olympics in the same year making the ski team to Innsbruck, Austria and the paddling to Montreal. The ski thing u as a matter “of pride.”
“It was important for me to make the national ski team this winter (1975-76) especially since I was dropped from the “A” squad the previous year. “It was a matter of pride,” she said.
That determination helped her win the national five kilometre crown and make the team going to Innsbruck and their ski 10 kilometres and in the relays.
That skiing almost led to her downfall the night of the ACT Dinner where she and Bill Gelling were to claim the top prizes, athlete of the year and sportsman of the year.
She was a head table guest but for a few minutes at least it was touch and go because of a foul-up in ski trail arrangements. Happy to relate, she got there with 30 minutes to spare.
Others in Holloway’s block of four were skater Lynn Nightingale, footballer Neil Lumsden and tennis player Martin Wostenholem. Other sportsman-sportswoman people for that award were Aline Pottie from swimming and Doug McDonald from rugby.
On the water Holloway’s national title list on behalf of the Rideaus was in the neighbourhood of 20; she was first to win a world junior championship medal (a bronze); shared the honour of being first to gain an Olympic final and shared the honour of being first to gain a world championship final.
Her most important victories on the national scene were the first five she won in 1973. They helped the Rideaus win their first national title in 35 years and they got a Burgee (large pennant) to take to city hall the next April and hang the pennant in the city council’s chambers.
SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR (BOB MAKI TROPHY)
Bill Gelling, swimming, track and field
Toronto native Jackie MacDonald, one of the few capable Canadian track and field competitors in the early 1950s had to refuse to head table dinner invitations from the Associated Canadian Traveller dinner officials.
MacDonald, who had a running battle with the late Lloyd Percival during her competitive days, had legitimate excuses. One was a conflict with a trip to Europe, and the other was her wedding to Bill Gelling.
Not too many years later the Gellings took up residence in Ottawa, but no ACT invitation was forthcoming for Jackie. There was one for her husband who was named sportsman of the year for 1973 and Jackie had to get him to the banquet without letting the cat out of the bag.
Gelling, who recently left the problems of the Canadian Armed Forces for those of Via Rail was singled out for his organizational work in track and field and swimming.
“Thrilling recognition,” recalled Gelling about his honor recently.
He would probably say something similar about the praise given to his national championship swimming team by Nick Thierry and Howard Firby after the 1974 championships in August of 1974.
The editors, who can be severe critics, said in their magazine Swim: “One of the most successful aspects of the meet were the daily sell-out crowds watching the evening finals. The 700 paid spectators, close, close to 400 swimmers and almost 100 officials brought the total to over 1,200, each and every one contributing to the very exciting atmosphere.
The organizing committee, composed in its majority of volunteers who had never been involved in staging a previous event of such magnitude have to be given full credit for a job well done”.
(The meet drew 388 swimmers entered in over 1,500 individual races. There were 75 more heats required than in 1973.)
That the championships staged by the Eastern Ontario Swimming Association under Gelling’s direction would draw such comment was no surprise to anyone close to the scene here. They had ample opportunity to watch the master at work moulding his crew into that efficient team so necessary to a well-run championships as he turned practically every competition on the EOSA schedule into dress rehearsals “whenever they were convenient.”
And Gelling had an able public relations person.
Archery — Cecily Coles
Badminton — Barb O’Brien
Basketball — Merv Sabey
Baseball — Dave McQuarrie
Curling — Isobel Munro, Thelma Lindsay, Geraldine Macklem, Vyvienne Johnston
Cycling — Judy Dietiker
Equestrian — Edythe and Karl Dronshek
Fencing — Marc Lavoie
Football — Peter Crepin
Figure Skating — Lynn Nightingale
Gymnastics — Bob Carisse
Hockey — Denis Potvin
Judo — Phil Takahashi
Motorsport — Doug Woods, Walter Boyce
Paddling — Sue Holloway
Rugby — Andy Stanton
Speed Skating — Gerry Cassan
Skiing — Betsy Clifford
Swimming — Gail Amundrud
Softball — André Fauvelle
Shooting — Bill Hare
Soccer — Vince Tindale
Tennis — Marjorie Blackwood
Track and Field — Glenda Reiser
Water Skiing — Helene Grégoire
Wrestling — Claude Pilon
New York Islanders plucked Denis Potvin from Ottawa 67’s as the No. 1 junior hockey draft in the country… Just what he’s meant to the franchise appeared in figures earlier this winter when he passed the brilliant Bobby Orr in all time points (915) and goals, 271… Glenda Reiser probably had better track and field credentials than in 1972, the year she was named athlete of the year… She had world records for the indoor 1,000 yards and the mile and she turned in the second fastest 800 metres ever run by a Canadian in Moscow… A sparkling performance by Arnprior’s Isobel Munro, Thelma Lindsay, Geraldine Macklem and Vyvienne Johnson earned them a trip to the dinner… They won the provincial title, the Ladies’ Metro and the Crystal Pebble… Speed skater Gerry Cassan struck gold in the world junior 500 metre sprint beating the field in 41.19 at Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy… Helene Grégoire provided a different name for water skiing when she finished 9th overall in the world championships… A Brookfield, gymnast, Bob Carisse won the high school championship all-round title and was runner-up in the provincial junior title meet… Versatile Claude Pilon won both the Canadian and intercollegiate heavyweight wrestling titles in a quiet year and Cecily Coles gave archery a lift winning the Canadian barebow championship and the silver in the Championship of the Americans.
Second-place finishes in tricks, slalom and jumping added up to a second overall in the Canadian championships for Hull’s Helene Grégoire… She went to the worlds and finished ninth overall helped by a 4th in jumping, a Canadian record 1 10 feet… Grégoire previously had won the national title in 1968 and took home a gold in jumping and silvers in tricks and slalom from the Canadian games in 1969.