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    • Manarin Award Winners for 2005

      March 19, 2005

      2005 Manarin Award Winners

      Evan Bruce (Banff Ski Runners) and Virginia Lehoux-Gagnon (club Skiélite)

      For Immediate Release
      March 19, 2005


      Recipients of 2005 Sofie Manarin Award Named at Canadian Cross-Country Ski Championships in Prince George, BC.


      Canmore, AB – The 2005 Sofie Manarin Award winners were announced on Saturday, March 12 at the Closing Ceremonies of the 2005 Canadian Cross-Country Ski Championships in Prince George, BC.  Evan Bruce of the Banff Ski Runners and Virginia Lehoux-Gagnon of Skiélite in Montreal were named recipients of the Manarin Award after winning the Juvenile Aggregate crown. 


      “Virginia is a dynamic and gifted 15 year old. Her talent and exemplary sporting attitude sets a positive example for all young skiers who wish to reach a higher level in cross-country skiing,” noted Pierre Brabant, her coach at Skiélite.  “This athlete is constantly maturing which allows her to train at quite an astonishing level.  In spite of her youth she manages stress very well and reacts positively to challenging race situations. She has a high recovery capacity regardless of the training or competition intensity. To be her trainer is very gratifying,” continued Brabant.


      It was the second year running one of the Juvenile Champions came from the Banff Ski Runners.   “Evan is a gifted athlete who benefits from a supportive family and active lifestyle,” commented Anders Lenes, coach of the Banff Ski Runners.  “His growing maturity allows him to focus on training and competitive opportunities making him a leader in both team and individual sport settings.  He responds well to coaching and is able to balance his leisure time with a full workload at school.  Our program has been enriched through his participation since he joined the Ski Runners 7 year’s ago,” continued Lenes.


      The Sofie Manarin Award was established in 2004 in memory of Sofie Manarin, a member of the 2001 Junior National Ski Team who passed away as a result of an accident in 2001 in Sudbury while training for the upcoming season.  As a member of Laurentian Nordic, Sofie had won 13 Junior Championship medals in her short career and was the top North American women at the 2001 World Junior Championships at the age of 16.


      The  Award is presented annually to the top male and female juvenile skier at the Canadian Cross-Country Ski Championships.  Natasha Kullus, (Porcupine SC), Alex Harvey of Mont Ste Anne and Haakon Lenes (Banff Ski Runners) won the honour at the 2004 Championships hosted in Charlo, New Brunswick

      Each recipient receives a bursary to help offset training and competition costs as well as two pairs of Madshus Suprasonic racing skis, donated by Madshus / K2 Canada, one of Sofie’s sponsors.  A permanent trophy in addition to a small memento was also presented to each of the young athletes in Prince George.


      Highlights of Sofie’s short ski career included:


      2001 – Top North American and 28th at World Junior Championships

      2000 – Selected to the Canadian National Junior Team

      2000 – Junior Women Aggregate Winner – Canadian National Championships

      1999 – Junior Girl Aggregate Winner – Canadian National Championship

      1996 – Youngest girl to win a medal at Canadian National Junior Championships

      1996-2001 – 13 individual Canadian Championship medals


      For further information contact: Mary Waddell 705-674-1327,   mwaddell@isys.ca


      2004 and 2005 Manarin Award Winners were presented with specially crafted memento's. 
      Lt-Rt: Alex Harvey and Haakon Lenes (2004 Male Recipients), Evan Bruce and Virginia Lehoux-Gagnon (2005 Recipients) and Natasha Kullus (2004 Female Recipient)