BOA Reveal 2011 Olympic Athlete of the Year Winners
December 21, 2011 15:00 pm
The British Olympic Association (BOA) has today announced the list of recipients of the 2011 Olympic Athlete of the Year trophy.
The award was introduced in 2005, to mark the BOA’s Centenary Year and the success of London being awarded the 2012 Olympic Games. The BOA presented a trophy to each of the 33 summer and winter Olympic sports for them to award on an annual basis to their top performing athlete of the year.
To mark outstanding performances in 2011, the following athletes have been awarded the BOA Olympic Athlete of the Year trophy:
Olympic Athlete of the Year
Imogen Bankier & Chris Adcock
Jon Schofield & Liam Heath
Helen Jenkins & Alistair Brownlee
Paula Walker & Rebekah Wilson
Tom Brewster, Greg Drummond, Scott Andrews, Michael Goodfellow
Men’s Short Track Relay Team
*Football, rowing and sailing are yet to announce their Olympic Athlete of the Year for 2011.
Andy Hunt, Team GB Chef de Mission and BOA Chief Executive said:
“British sportsmen and women have produced some truly outstanding performances throughout 2011, winning no less than 50 medals in Olympic disciplines at World Championships. While traditionally strong sports such as rowing, sailing and cycling have continued to deliver world leading results, it was exciting to see our boxing, triathlon and taekwondo squads achieve their best ever medal hauls in 2011.
“During the test events this year I saw first-hand the inspirational impact of the home crowd support on British athletes. This was perhaps most clearly demonstrated by the memorable silver medal won by Imogen Bankier and Chris Adcock in the Badminton World Championships at Wembley. This bodes well for next summer when the whole of the UK can play their part in helping Team GB – Our Greatest Team to achieve something special.
“The past 12 months were full of fantastic achievements by British athletes such as Mo Farah, Helen Jenkins and Alastair Brownlee, but for me personally, the highlight was witnessing Keri-Anne Payne cross the line to win the open water swimming World Championship in China. It was a privilege to observe such a tremendous display of mental and physical strength and endurance.
“The Olympic Athlete of the Year award celebrates the excellence of athletes who represent the very best of British talent in their respective Olympic sports. I wish all the award winners the very best as they enter the home straight of their preparations for London 2012, or continue their journey towards Sochi 2014.”
Commenting on receiving their awards:
Keri-Anne Payne, swimming said:
“Following a successful World Championships for the British Team in July, it’s an honour to be recognised for the BOA Olympic Athlete of the Year award – it’s the icing on the cake of a fantastic year.”
Imogen Bankier and Chris Adcock, badminton said:
“We are really happy and honoured to have won this award, not only for ourselves but for badminton as a sport. We would like to thank everyone that has supported us in this very successful year, with the highlight being us winning a silver medal at the World Badminton Championships at Wembley Arena this past August. We both look forward to continuing our hard work and dedication throughout 2012, in the hope of achieving a place on Team GB for the London 2012 Olympic Games.”
Jon Schofield, canoeing said:
“We are absolutely delighted to be recognised with this award. Winning a silver medal at the World Championships and a gold at Europeans made 2011 a great year for us and a really good platform to build on for London 2012. I wasn’t even a full time athlete when London was awarded the Games in 2005, and now being in with the chance of selection for Team GB and being part of the biggest sporting event in our country’s history would be the most amazing experience.”
Jamie Cooke, modern pentathlon said:
"I'm really pleased to be given this award, but it could have gone to so many of the athletes in the British pentathlon team. Mhairi Spence and Heather Fell won World Cup medals this year, Nick Woodbridge won a World Cup Final medal and Freyja Prentice won medals at both the World and European Junior Championships. We've had some really good results this year and that bodes well in the run-up to the Games."
Laura Bartlett, hockey said:
“It is a great honour to receive such an award and I would like to thank everyone who has helped me along the way. It has been a great year to be part of such a successful Scotland squad. It’s been tough recovering from my injury and I would like to thank all of the physio support that I received in Scotland and England. I feel I’ve come back stronger and I’m looking forward to the challenges over the next year.”
Martin Stamper, taekwondo said:
“It’s been a great year and this has really topped it off. I am so proud to be awarded Olympic Athlete of the Year, even more so because the team has done so well and there have been some great performances from other GB athletes. I’ve worked hard this year and have managed to hold my form and a lot of the credit must go to my coach Steve Jennings and to the support staff in the GB Taekwondo Academy. I just need to keep going now into 2012.”
Daniel Purvis, gymnastics said:
“I am delighted to be awarded with the Olympic Athlete of the Year award. This is a huge honour which motivates me to keep working hard in the near future and always. My thanks go to all my coaches, supporting staff and team-mates who have helped me achieve excellent results in 2011. With Olympic qualification in our minds and less than a month away from the decisive test event in London in January, my focus is on supporting my team to the best of my ability, so that we can live up to our dreams at the 2012 Olympic Games.”
Colin Oates, judo said:
"2011 has been my best year ever in the sport and I'm so pleased it has been recognised. I've had some great support from my coaching team and would like to thank them for all of their efforts during the year. Now it’s time to look forward to the 2012 Games and work as hard as I can to win an Olympic medal.”
Steven Larsson, handball said:
“It’s a big honour to be selected as the Handball Olympic Athlete of the Year, and I’m proud to achieve such a reward. Things have been going really well for me as an athlete but more importantly for the British team as a whole. Let’s hope we can keep on going forward and improving as a team in the last few months that are remaining until London 2012!”
Will Connell, Equestrian Team Leader commenting on Carl Hester said:
“Carl is an outstanding athlete who deserves international recognition for taking dressage in Great Britain to new heights.”
Paula Walker, bobsleigh said
“I feel a huge amount of pride in winning this award, this is a stepping stone to real success moving towards Sochi 2014.”
Rebekah Wilson, bobsleigh said
“I have been focussed and dedicated to sport since being a little girl. But you never quite believe you will make it. I feel extremely privileged that all the hard work is recognised by achieving this award. Thank-you very much and may the dream continue to Sochi 2014.”
James Woods, skiing said:
“I am shocked, yet very honoured to receive this award. It means an incredible amount to me personally, but for the sport of freestyle skiing I believe it is a huge breakthrough. Thank you for this recognition, we are all massively grateful and overly excited to show the British public, and the world, what we can do."
Richard Shoebridge, short track speed skating said:
"It’s a great honour for the men's relay team to be awarded the Olympic athlete of the year award. The team worked really hard all year and to achieve the world record - the first ever by Great Britain - at the end of the season showed us what we could achieve in Sochi 2014. We would like to wish all the best to all the summer sport athletes competing for Team GB in the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Corinna Lawrence, fencing said:
"I am really delighted to get the Olympic athlete of the year award for Fencing. I am training hard to ensure that my performances continue to improve ready for London 2012."
Peter Wilson, shooting said:
"I'm absolutely ecstatic with the announcement. It's an amazing feeling to be named athlete of the year. It's a great way to end an incredible year for myself and has given my confidence yet another boost leading towards London 2012."