Olympians old and new honoured at skating awards night
Olympians Deanna Lockett and Pierre Boda have been named female and male athlete of the year at short track speed skating’s annual awards night.
Neither Lockett nor Boda were present to accept their awards, training at their overseas training bases in South Korea and the USA ahead of the upcoming World Cup circuit.
Male junior athlete of the year was awarded to Keanu Blunden, who made his World Cup debut last season. The award was one of many during the night for Blunden, who was a standout performer at the weekend’s Australian Open Championships.
Blunden won the 500m and 1000m and 5000m open relay as well as placing second in the 1500m and third in the 3000m. The results made him the top overall senior skater from the Championships, which were held at the Canterbury Ice Rink in Sydney on Friday 30 September and Saturday 1 October.
Whilst Blunden has qualified to compete in World Cups 1 and 2 at the end of this year, he will miss the events to complete his year 12 studies before returning to training in Korea with the remaining World Cups and next Winter Olympics in sight.
Julia Moore was awarded with the junior female athlete of the year after her history-making silver medal in the teams event at this year’s Winter Youth Olympics in Lillehammer.
Two-time Olympian Lachlan Hay was honoured as coach of the year, for his work with young and emerging athletes.
The event also recognised the 25th anniversary of the landmark win at the 1991 World Championships. Steven Bradbury, Kieran Hansen, Andrew Murtha, Richard Nizielski and John Kah combined to break through for the win in the 5000m relay against Great Britain, Italy and New Zealand. It was a landmark win for the Aussies, setting in motion success that would continue on to a bronze medal at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer.
All five skaters were at the awards night in Sydney and enjoyed watching the footage of the race and reminiscing about the win that went on to inspire a whole new generation of short track speed skaters in Australia.
Male athlete of the year – Pierre Boda
Female athlete of the year – Deanna Lockett
Male junior athlete of the year – Keanu Blunden
Female junior athlete of the year – Julia Moore
Coach of the year – Lachlan Hay
Endeavour award – Mikayla Biggs
Outstanding achievement – Sydney Speed Skating Club for its outstanding achievement in building grass root for the sport
Volunteer of the year – NSW – Krish Mootoosamy
Volunteer of the year – VIC – Eva Fabian
Volunteer of the year – QLD – Sean Bennett
Volunteer of the year – WA – Paul Hamer