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Jan. 26, 2017
OTTAWA – Vincent De Haitre and Erica Wiebe were both on top of the world in their sports in 2016. In recognition of their achievements, they will be named the city’s Male and Female Athlete of the Year at the 2016 Ottawa Sports Awards banquet, set for Wednesday, Feb. 1 at Algonquin College.
Stittsville wrestler Wiebe captured a gold medal for Canada at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The 27-year-old is Ottawa’s first Summer Olympic champion since Glenroy Gilbert – Ottawa’s 2016 Male Coach of the Year – won gold at the Atlanta 1996 Games.
“There are so many amazing athletes that come out of Ottawa and I’m just proud to be a part of it,” says Wiebe, who grew up with the National Capital Wrestling Club and before that as a soccer goalkeeper with the Ottawa Fury.
Wiebe’s mother, Paula Preston, will also be recognized at the Feb. 1 banquet with the Spirit of Sport award for her lifetime contributions as a volunteer in many sports, including rhythmic gymnastics.
De Haitre and Wiebe have become friends since both are based at the University of Calgary/Canadian Sport Institute Calgary.
“Erica’s performance at the Olympics was nothing short of amazing,” De Haitre underlines. “I’m glad to see another Ottawa athlete perform like that. It makes me proud to be from where I’m from.”
Previously Ottawa’s best in 2014, De Haitre will collect his second career Male Athlete of the Year honour. The 22-year-old from Cumberland established himself as one of the planet’s best speed skaters this past year. Boosted by his first career individual World Cup gold medal in December, the Gloucester Concordes product finished 2016 as the world’s #2-ranked athlete in the men’s 1,000 metres.
“I’m hoping that I can keep up the performances and show that I’m truly dedicated to what I do,” says De Haitre, who also won the men’s 1,000 m time trial at the Canadian Track Cycling Championships this past fall.
The Carleton Ravens men’s basketball team will be named Ottawa’s Male Team of the Year for the sixth straight year to match their sixth straight national championship.
After dominating the Canadian Road Cycling Championships in Ottawa and sending a pair of athletes to the Olympics, the Cyclery-Opus women’s cycling team will receive the Female Team of the Year Award.
University of Ottawa Gee-Gees women’s rugby coach Jen Boyd will collect her fourth career Female Coach of the Year award thanks to a national silver medal, an all-time best program finish.
Gilbert will also take home his fourth career Male Coach of the Year honour. The Ottawa Lions Track-and-Field Club and national team relay coach guided the Canadian men’s 4×100-metre relay team to a bronze medal at the Rio Olympics. It was Canada’s first Olympic relay medal since Gilbert himself ran the second leg of Canada’s gold medal-winning performance at Atlanta 1996.
Both Boyd and Gilbert are back-to-back Coach of the Year winners.
Full bios on each of the winners are now posted at: https://www.ottawasportsawards.ca/award-winners/year/2016/
The Feb. 1 banquet will be the 64th annual celebration of Ottawa’s top athletes. The Ottawa Sports Awards is the largest and longest recurring municipal amateur sport recognition program in Canada.
In addition to the of-the-year honourees, five individuals will be recognized with lifetime achievement awards, more than 45 teams who distinguished themselves provincially, nationally or internationally will receive recognition and more than 60 of the city’s top athletes in each of their sports will be presented with awards at the ceremony.
The reception for the Feb. 1 banquet begins at 6 p.m., dinner is at 7 p.m. and award presentations begin at 8 p.m., running through to approximately 10 p.m.
For more information and to reserve tickets online up to Jan. 27, visit ottawasportsawards.ca. After this date, tickets are subject to availability.
Chair, Ottawa Sports Awards
Ottawa Sports Awards