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Jan. 08, 2024
The 2023 year in sport once again saw the City of Ottawa celebrate a multitude of successful athletes and championship teams.
The Ottawa Sports Awards is proud to recognize the following recipients of the Athlete of the Year, Coach of the Year, and Team of the Year awards, whose achievements spanned the entire 2023 calendar.
Three of the recipients are repeat winners from past seasons of success, while ski cross athlete Jared Schmidt, basketball coach Fabienne Blizzard, and swimming coach Scott Faithfull are being honoured as major award winners at the Ottawa Sports Awards for the first time.
ATHLETES OF THE YEAR:
Ivanie Blondin (speed skating)
Jared Schmidt (ski cross)
COACHES OF THE YEAR:
Fabienne Blizzard (basketball)
Scott Faithfull (swimming)
TEAMS OF THE YEAR:
Carleton Ravens Women’s Basketball
Carleton Ravens Men’s Basketball
These major award winners will be celebrated at the 2023 Ottawa Sports Awards dinner event on February 7 at the Centurion Conference and Event Center on Colonnade Road, with doors opening at 6 p.m. and the awards programming starting at 6:45 p.m. Tickets are on sale now.
In December, the 2023 Ottawa Sports Awards Lifetime Award Recipients were announced. A complete list of individual sport award winners, championship teams, and Special Recognition Award recipients will be announced shortly.
The Ottawa Sports Awards honours the finest in the Ottawa sports community. Click here to view our past winners!
This marks the fifth overall and third straight Athlete of the Year award for three-time Olympian Ivanie Blondin. In 2023 she continued to produce World Cup podium results as an individual and as a member of Canada’s team pursuit. Among her most notable results, Blondin won the 2022-23 World Cup title in the mass start and then began the 2023-24 World Cup season with a gold medal finish. At the 2023 World Championships, she claimed the silver medal in the mass start and was a member of the gold medal-winning Team Pursuit trio as well as winning gold in the Team Sprint.
Schmidt closed off 2023 with three straight gold medal performances at World Cup ski cross events, leading the overall rankings. The 2022 Olympian earned his first career World Cup gold medal on December 8 in France, following up with wins on December 12 and 21 in Switzerland and Italy, respectively. He previously had two career World Cup podium finishes, both in 2021. A national team member since 2018, Schmidt is the first Canadian since Marielle Thompson in 2017, and the first Canadian man, to win three ski cross World Cup races in a row. Schmidt was a co-winner of the Ottawa Sports Award for Alpine Ski athletes in 2021.
This is the first Coach of the Year award for long-time Ottawa basketball coach Fabienne Blizzard, who made her international head coaching debut in 2023. Blizzard was the head coach of Canada’s team at the 2023 FIBA U16 Women’s Americas Championship. The team went undefeated until the gold medal match, including a 77-49 win over Puerto Rico in the semi-final. Canada brought home the silver medal and also qualified for the 2024 U17 World Cup. 2023 also saw three alumni of Blizzard’s Ottawa-based Capital Courts Academy representing Canada on the women’s U19 and senior national teams.
The head coach of the Nepean Kanata Barracudas, Scott Faithfull was named to Canada’s coaching staff at the 2023 World Junior Swimming Championships. He was also selected as one of six coaches across Canada to participate in Swimming Canada’s Next Wave Coaches Group. 2023 was a breakthrough year internationally for Julie Brousseau, who Faithfull coaches. She led the Canadian team in podium finishes at the World Juniors with two silver medals and five bronze medals, and also captured two gold medals at the Pan American Games.
CARLETON RAVENS WOMEN’S BASKETBALL TEAM:
The 2023 U SPORTS National Champions, the Carleton Ravens women’s team lost only two games in all of 2023 for a combined record of 35-2 in the calendar year. The Ravens were the 2023 Ontario University Athletics conference champions, winning the title by a score of 70-57. As the number-one ranked seed at the national championship the Ravens continued to dominate, winning their semi-final 65-46 and national championship game 71-59. It was the second national championship win in team history.
CARLETON RAVENS MEN’S BASKETBALL TEAM:
The Carleton Ravens men’s basketball team won the U SPORTS National Championship for the fourth straight season. The team displayed their championship prowess throughout the national tournament, building to victory in a double-overtime championship final thriller. All three games at the 2023 national championship were extremely close victories for the Ravens, who took a two-point win in the quarter finals and a six-point win in the semi-final. The team finished first in the Ontario University Athletics regular season standings for 2022-23 with an 18-4 record.