(February 14, 2003)
Skate Canada congratulates three Canadian skaters, 2002 Olympic Pair Champions Jamie Sale and David Pelletier, and 2002 Canadian Junior Ladies bronze medallist Signe Ronka, for being nominated as finalists for the 30th Annual Canadian Sport Awards.
The Spirit of Sport Foundation announced the finalists in Toronto on Feb. 13. Established in 1972, the Canadian Sport Awards recognize Canadian athletes for sporting excellence.
Sale and Pelletier have been nominated in two categories - Partners of the Year and Spirit of Sport Story of the Year. The other finalists in the Partners of the Year category are Daniel Nestor, who along with his tennis partner, Mark Knowles, is one of the top-ranked doubles players in the world. Also up for the award is the Men's short track relay team, which won the gold medal at the 2002 Olympic Games.
In the Spirit of Sport Story of the Year category, cross country skier Beckie Scott and Simon Ibell, whose Bike 4 MPS campaign saw him bike Vancouver Island to raise funds and awareness of Muchopolysacharridosis, an enzyme deficiency where the body is missing a critical enzyme, iduronidase, bringing along with it a variety of medical complications.
The Spirit of Sport Story of the Year Award was created to recognize and celebrate a Canadian hero who, in the pursuit of sporting excellence, has demonstrated values such as dedication, perserverance, sportsmanship, respect for others and a true love for sport.
Ronka was announced as a finalist in the Junior Female Athlete of the Year category. The other finalists in this category are synchronized swimmer Nicole Cargill and Jennifer Spalding, who competes in sailing.
The awards will be handed out at the Canadian Sports Awards Gala, which will take place March 25, 2003 at the CBC's Canadian Broadcasting Centre in Toronto. Ron MacLean, host of the CBC's Hockey Night in Canada, will host the show.
The gala will be broadcast on CBC during prime time on March 26.