CALGARY, ALTA (January 27, 2011) - Eight months after she retired, three-time Paralympian Lauren Woolstencroft is being honoured for the numerous achievements from her Para-Alpine career.
Woolstencroft, from North Vancouver, B.C., won five gold medals at the 2010 Vancouver Paralympic Games last March, making her one of the most decorated female athletes from any country at a single Winter Paralympic Games. She won a total of 10 Paralympic Winter Games medals during her career.
The 29-year-old has been nominated for a 2011 Laureus World Sport Award for World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability Award category. The awards, which honour sporting achievement in 2010, are based on a nomination process that involves the leading 46 sports journalists from across the globe. The winners will be unveiled at a televised Awards Ceremony staged in Abu Dhabi on Monday, February 7. Woolstencroft is the only Canadian to be nominated.
"I'm very excited to be nominated for all these awards," said Woolstencroft. "This has been quite an amazing journey. When I started ski racing I would have never thought that one day I would be nominated for one of the biggest sports award in the world. It's mind-boggling. Plus, I'm the only Canadian to be nominated for any award this year so that's pretty neat."
The glittering collection of the world's greatest sports stars nominated for the 2011 Laureus World Sports Awards includes NBA superstar Kobe Bryant, tennis ace Rafael Nadal and alpine skier Lindsay Vonn.
Woolstencroft, who competed in the women's standing category, was born missing her left arm below the elbow as well as both legs below the knees. Over her impressive career, Woolstencroft was crowned IPC World Champion eight times, has four IPC World Cup overall Crystal Globes, over 50 IPC World Cup wins and a remarkable 19 Canadian Championship victories.
She has also been nominated for the Best of B.C. Award presented by the City of Richmond, which is determined by fans' votes. The fans vote for the athlete they think was the most outstanding B.C. professional or amateur athlete in 2010.
"I'm particularly excited that this award is based in the fans vote and I really hope people continue to vote for me," said Woolstencroft of the nomination. "It's crazy and amazing to realize how people get touched by major sporting events such as the Olympic and Paralympic Games."
Woolstencroft is up against fellow Alpine Canada Alpin athlete, ski cross star Ashleigh McIvor from Whister, B.C., as well as snowboard cross athlete Maelle Ricker, hokey player Duncan Keith of the Chicago Blackhawks and softball player Danielle Lawrie.
The winner will be announced on February 21, 2011. To vote for Woolstencroft go to http://sportbc.com/programs-and-events/athlete-of-the-year-awards/best-of-bc/
Woolstencroft was also named one of the most influential women of 2010 by the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Advancement (CAAW). That list highlights the leadership, strength and accomplishments of Canadian women who made a significant impact in sport and physical activity in 2010.
Last but not least, Woolstencroft will have the honour of being inducted in the B.C. Sport Hall of Fame on September 13, alongside athletes including Ricker and longtime former Vancouver Canucks captain Trevor Linden.
"I'm so excited for this! It's a huge honour to be inducted and very humbling knowing the sporting legends I'll be joining," said Woolstencroft.
Since the Games ended, Woolstencroft has participated in several major public events. She has been involved in ceremonial faceoffs to open NHL hockey games in Vancouver, B.C., and Toronto, Ont. She has appeared on CTV's Canada AM and CBC's 'The Hour' with George Stroumboulopoulos. She introduced one of the inductees at the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) Hall of Fame Gala as well as numerous other media appearances in B.C., where she resides.
Woolstencroft completed a Bachelor's Degree of Engineering (Electrical) with Distinction from the University of Victoria in August 2005. She currently works at BC Hydro in Vancouver, B.C. as an engineer.
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