Local pair pick up top awards

Wharfedale Observer: Lizzie Armitstead Lizzie Armitstead

TWO local sports stars, triathlete Alistair Brownlee and cyclist Lizzie Armitstead, were among the recipients when the British Olympic Association (BOA) announced the full list of recipients of the 2009 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 2009, Alistair, from Horsforth, was awarded the trophy for the top triathlete while Lizzie, from Otley, received the award as the top cyclist.

Otjer awards have gone to: Aquatics - Gemma Spofforth; Archery - Simon Terry; Athletics - Phillips Idowu; Badminton - Donna Kellogg and Anthony Clark; Basketball - Jo Leedham; Biathlon - Lee Jackson; Bobsleigh - Nicola Minichiello and Gillian Cooke; Boxing - Martin Ward; Canoeing - Rachel Cawthorn; Curling - Ewan McDonald; Equestrian - Kristina Cook; Fencing - Richard Kruse; Gymnastics - Beth Tweddle; Hockey - Barry Middleton; Ice Skating - Sinead and John Kerr; Judo - Karina Bryant; Luge - Adam Rosen; Modern Pentathlon - Heather Fell; Sailing - Paul Goodison; Shooting - Richard Faulds; Skiing - Chemmy Alcott; Taekwondo - Bianca Walkden; Tennis - Andy Murray; Volleyball - Lynn Beattie; Weightlifting - Peter Kirkbride; Wrestling - Leon Rattigan.

Football, Handball, Ice Hockey, Rowing and Table Tennis are yet to announce their Olympic Athlete of the Year for 2009.

Andy Hunt, BOA Chief Executive said: “Following on from the unprecedented success of Team GB at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, 2009 has seen athletes from many of our Olympic sports raise the bar even higher.

“The award of the Olympic Athlete of the Year trophy recognises the quality, focus and commitment of athletes who represent the very best of British talent in their respective Olympic sports.

“With the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games just around the corner, it is fantastic for British winter sport that we have two World Champions.

“I wish all the BOA Olympic Athlete of the Year award winners the very best as they continue their preparations for Vancouver, London and beyond.”

Commenting on receiving his awards Triathlon World Champion Alistair Brownlee said: “Winning the BOA Athlete of the Year award was a great achievement. To receive such a prestigious award just further motivates me to perform at this level.”

Beth Tweddle said: “I am delighted to receive the BOA Olympic Athlete of the Year Award. The last 12 months have been fantastic for me personally and indeed for the whole British Gymnastics team.”

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