• Alex 50km Lahti Champion
    • In Memory of Sofie Manarin

      June 3, 2001

      September 19, 1983 - June 3, 2001

      Sofie Manarin was remembered Wednesday (June 6, 2001) as an exceptional young person whose remarkable achievements belied her brief life. More than 800 mourners, including hundreds of teenagers, filled Christ the King Church in downtown Sudbury for Manarin's funeral. The 17-year-old elite athlete died on June 3, 2001 following a cycling accident in Sudbury's south end, while on a training ride.

      A member of the national junior cross-country skiing team, Manarin was a national champion and Canada's top-ranked female junior cross-country skier. In February she competed at the junior world championships in Poland, where she was the top North America skier with a 28th-place finish.

      "It's hard, knowing that she was one of the best that this country has seen in a long time and now she doesn't have the chance to fulfill the dreams that she had, and the dreams we had for her," said friend Dean Waddell, who trained and skied with Manarin for seven years. "But what she accomplished already is more than what most people will ever have the chance to do."

      A handful of national ski team members who traveled to Sudbury for the funeral service said Manarin stood out among her peers. "She was special, the way she helped everyone and was so supportive all the time," said Shayla Swanson, 19, of Calgary. "She was really caring and she was so much fun to be around all the time. She was full of jokes and laughs. She really lightened the mood if someone wasn't having a great day. She would get everyone laughing and it was contagious".

      Manarin was exceptional on and off the ski trails, said Chandra Crawford, 17, of Canmore, AB. "Even though it's an individual sport, as a team we work really hard together, and Sofie made a huge difference on our team," Crawford said. "She was an amazing person, skiing or not skiing. It was great to be with her. She was so much fun to be with and we just had the most fun and we're going to miss her."

      "Sofie was energy, happiness, joy," said Waddell. "She didn't know how to be sad."

      Excerpts from article by Denis St. Pierre/THE SUDBURY STAR: "More than 800 attend teen's funeral"

      Donations to honour Sofie Manarin's pursuit for excellence in cross country skiing can be made to:

      The Sudbury Community Foundation
      Attn: Sofie Manarin Memorial Bursary Fund
      300 - 96 Larch Street
      Sudbury, Ontario, P3E 1C1

      Donations to the Sofie Manarin Bursary Fund will be directed to support development of Juvenile and Junior cross country skiers.

      Tax receipts will be issued, and donations over $50 will receive a reproduction of the painting of Sofie done by artist, David Nighbor, as seen above.