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    • Manarin Award Winners for 2008

      July 8, 2008

      For Immediate Release


      Recipients of Sofie Manarin Award Named at 2008 Haywood Ski Nationals recently completed near Whistler, BC…


      Canmore, AB – The 2008 Sofie Manarin Award winners were announced on Sunday, March 23 at the Closing Ceremonies of the 2008 Haywood Ski Nationals held at the Whistler Olympic Park.  Michelle Workun-Hill who skis for Nakkertok Nordique just north of Ottawa and Geoffrey Richards of the Overlander Ski Club in Kamloops were named recipients of the Manarin Award after winning the Juvenile Aggregate crowns. 


      The Sofie Manarin Award was established in 2004 in memory of Sofie Manarin, a member of the 2000-01 Junior National Ski Team.  Manarin passed away as a result of a traffic accident in 2001 in Sudbury while training for the upcoming season.  As a member of the Laurentian Nordic Ski Club, 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, just prior to her training accident.


      Both recipients of the 2008 Manarin Award were in tough among their age group peers as the Juvenile crowns came down to the mass start competitions on the last day of racing.  In the juvenile boys division, Richards and Zach Holland (Banff Ski Runners) finished a single point apart with Holland having a strong final day.  The same type of battle developed on the girls side as Alexia Rancourt of Club Nordique Mont Saint Anne finished off the Championships with a win.  However, with a third place finish in the mass start event, Workun-Hill was able to stay a single point ahead of Rancourt for the title.


      During the summer the 2008 Manarin Award winners will continue to train with local ski clubs in Cantley and Rossland for the upcoming season.  Workun-Hill has a training camp with Team Quebec planned for Maine while Richards is off to the Haig Glacier with Team BC.  Both athletes received some tips and encouragement from the experts as they were actively involved in the NST Outreach Program in June.   


      The Manarin Award is presented annually to the top male and female juvenile skier (age 15 or under) at the Canadian Cross-Country Ski Championships.  Previous Manarin Award winners include National Team member Alex Harvey of Mont Ste Anne.  Harvey, the son of Canadian skiing legion Pierre Harvey, earned a total of 3 medals at the World Junior Championships before graduating this past spring onto Canada’s Senior 2009 World Cup Team. 


      Each recipient receives a $500 bursary to help offset training and competition costs as well as an opportunity of working in the future with Madshus/ K2 Canada, one of Sofie’s sponsors.  A permanent trophy in addition to a small memento is also presented to each of the young athletes.


      “Sofie always found it was difficult to find corporate support during her early training years, commented John Manarin, Sofie’s father.  With this award our plan was to recognize young skiing talents in Canada and encourage them to pursue their dreams in the sport.   The family congratulates and wishes Geoffrey and Michelle well in the future.”


      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


      Sofie Manarin Award Winners 2004-2007:


      2007:  Raphaël Couturier - Skibec Nordique, Janelle Greer – Whitehorse SC; 

      2006:  Evan Bruce – Banff SR, Laurianne Ouellet – Skibec Nordique; 

      2005:  Evan Bruce – Banff SR, Virginia Lehoux-Gagnon – Skiélite;

      2004: Alex Harvey – CNMSA, Natasha Kullis – Porcupine SR & Haakon Lenes – Banff SR



      For more information contact:

      Dave Dyer

      Director Marketing and Event Management

      Cross Country Canada

      613 297-9504