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ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Lynn Nightingale, Figure Skating
“It was an honour to attend all six,” said Lynn Nightingale reflecting on her appearances at the Associated Canadian Travellers sportsman’s dinner.
And they weren’t earned without some exciting moments. In 1973, for example, she had the top brass giving the rule book the once-over after she had surprised everyone and defeated Karen Magnussen and Cathy Lee Irwin in free skating at the Canadian championships.
The Canadian Figure Skating Association was worried that Magnussen’s reputation had been besmirched and she would lose the world championship. The association found an obscure rule that fractions don’t count and that the girls were deadlocked.
Nightingale went to the worlds and finished 10th overall and an exciting fifth in free skating. The finish was considered remarkable by a skater in her first year.
The following year she was to be named athlete of the year for 1974. She won the Canadian women’s title, won Skate Canada and Skate Moscow and finished sixth in the worlds.
Still shaking long after her victory announcement, Lynn confided she “never gets this nervous before a competition,” she is still competing professionally where free skating shines. She’s been a winner in South Africa and New York on the pro tour.
She has been living in London, Ontario, the last year finishing off a degree in physical education. At the same time she has been teaching skating.
About the banquets, “I have enjoyed all of them,” said Nightingale who is all for giving the amateur athlete recognition.
“It was an honour to attend every year,” she said.
SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR (GORD TRIVETT MEMORIAL TROPHY)
Jim Maxwell, football
It’s very unlikely that the late Gord Trivett, a 20-year man with the ACT Sportsmen’s Dinner, ever met the late Jim Maxwell, general manager and vice-president of the Sooners at the time he was named sportsman of the year in 1974.
If they had, the two would have gotten on famously.
Instead, Trivett, who served a term as national ACT president, will be remembered through his trophy, the sportsman of the year award and Maxwell as the first winner.
Current Sooner players are reaping the benefits of Maxwell’s handiwork, the clubhouse at Brewer Park. “The house that Jim built” is what I call it, said Don Holtby. “I gave him a picture of it.”
“I’m very appreciative of the honor,” said Maxwell at the time of the presentation. “I realize it is not a one-man honor. There have been many involved. It’s a long tough road.”
Trivett’s sentiments exactly.
Archery — Patti Thompson
Basketball — Ray Dyck
Badminton — Barb O’Brien
Cricket — Ishtiaq Khan
Cycling — Judy Dietiker
Curling — Dawn Ventura, Alma Millikin, Joyce Potter, Sharon Skinner
Fencing — Marc Lavoie
Football — Jeff Avery
Figure Skating — Lynn Nightingale
Gymnastics — Mona Johnson
Hockey — Peter Lee
Judo — Al Takahashi
Lacrosse — Mike Lachapelle
Motorsport — Walter Boyce, Doug Woods
Orienteering — Gord Hunter
Paddling — Sue Holloway
Rugby — Andy Stanton
Rowing — Beverly Cameron
Soccer — Raoul Decaria
Softball — Joe Belisle
Speed Skating — Gerry Cassan
Swimming — Gail Amundrud
Skiing — Betsy Clifford
Squash — Penny Glover
Sailing — David and Peter Buckley
Shooting — Bill Hare
Tennis — Colin McAlpine
Track and Field — Hugh Fraser
Touch Football — Al Sarault
Water Skiing — Pat Messner
Wrestling — Claude Pilon
Weightlifting — Russ Prior
Raoul Decaria probably didn’t realize it at the time but he was at the centre of a tempest in a teapot… Decaria, a member of St. Anthony’s, three times Quebec Major League champions, was chosen over Bill McQueen, the Ottawa and district’s representative… Because of this choice, the Ottawa and District Soccer Association said “… we cannot support the selection of a person on a team which directly contravenes the structure of soccer in Canada, therefore, we must sever all connections with the dinner and its organizers as the official governing body of soccer in Ottawa.” Soccer executive director Eric King wondered, “whether they (Ottawa) either didn’t know the rules or didn’t want to,”… Said Earl Bullis, the dinner chairman, “Achievement is the crucial word… I support the dinner committee”… And those were the final words… Swimmer Gail Amundrud, runner Glenda Reiser, wrestler Claude Pilon and weightlifter Russ Prior were gold medallists at the Commonwealth Games at Christchurch New Zealand… Reiser ran a 4:07.6 1,500 metres against the clock (she was that far ahead)… Her Munich time was 4:06.7… Prior matched his previous gold at Edinburgh… And an ironic note for cityhall fans…
The civic fathers picked the sportsman’s dinner to announce Ottawa’s participation in future dinners “with more than moral support.”… The announcement was made in the Nepean Sportsplex.