Curlers Honoured in 2013 Olympic Athletes of the Year
The British Olympic Association (BOA) is announcing today the list of 35 athletes, across 31 sports, who are being honoured as the 2013 Olympic Athlete of the Year in their respective sport.
2013 has been witness to yet another incredible year for Britain’s top sportsmen and women. To recognise their achievements, the BOA has worked in partnership with the National Governing Bodies to select athletes deserving of recognition for their outstanding performances in 2013.
The Olympic Athlete of the Year Award was introduced by the BOA in 2005 to mark the organisation’s Centenary Anniversary. The BOA invites each of its summer and winter Olympic-sport National Governing Bodies to nominate the top-performing athlete from their sport to receive the honour.
“I would like to congratulate each and every athlete who has been named as the BOA Olympic Athlete of the Year, as well as the performance directors, coaches and National Governing Body personnel who have helped these athletes in making 2013 another successful year,” British Olympic Association Chief Executive Officer Bill Sweeney said.
“I am delighted to see so many athletes of varying experience, across the full spectrum of Olympic sport, building on the momentum of Team GB’s performance at London 2012 by setting new standards of sporting excellence in 2013.
“Over the past year, many of these athletes have achieved a number of record-breaking firsts for British Olympic sport and we were delighted to work with the National Governing Bodies, who have played an integral role in the nomination and selection of their respective athletes, to recognise their achievements this year.”
The following athletes have been selected for the award of BOA Olympic Athlete of the Year:
Aquatics – Fran Halsall: Halsall’s 50m freestyle bronze medal was Britain’s sole medal of the 2013 World Championships in Barcelona, and she ended her season ranked second in the world over 100m freestyle.
Archery – Patrick Huston: Huston won double gold at the 2013 World Youth Championships in China, just one month after the 17-year-old was crowned the European Field Archery Champion.
Athletics – Mo Farah: Farah’s career reached incredible new heights as he became only the second man in history to complete an Olympic and world ‘double-double’ in the distance events.
Badminton – Chris Adcock and Gabrielle Adcock: The husband and wife team climbed to a career-best 5th place in the world rankings after winning England’s only second Super Series title at the Hong Kong Open.
Basketball – Johannah Leedham: After being drafted into the WNBA, Leedham played an instrumental role for Great Britain at EuroBasket 2013. She also became the all-time scoring leader for NCAA Div II with a career total 3,050 points, the fifth highest in women’s college basketball history.
Biathlon – Scott Dixon: The son of six-time Winter Olympian Mike Dixon impressively qualified to compete on the senior circuit in 2013 aged just 19. The determined youngster has since relocated to Germany to step up his training and so far this season has competed in his first two IBU World Cups.
Boxing – Andrew Selby: Selby, who competes in the bantamweight division, was the 2013 European Champion and finished the 2012/2013 World Series of Boxing ranked 1st. He also emerged as one of the stars of the British Lionhearts team after winning all six of his bouts.
Canoeing – David Florence: Florence’s double gold in canoe slalom at the World Championships in Prague made him the first British man to win both the C1 and C2 double in the same year, a feat only achieved by one other man in history.
Curling – Eve Muirhead, Anna Sloan, Vicki Adams, Claire Hamilton: At the World Championships in March, Muirhead skipped her team to victory over Sweden with the final stone. The team added to their most successful season ever by also winning the Players’ Championships.
Cycling – Liam Phillips: After finishing eighth in the Olympic final at London 2012, Phillips was crowned the 2013 BMX World Champion in Auckland. He also won double gold at the World Cup in Manchester in both the time trial and Supercross.
Equestrian – Scott Brash: Following his victory at the Global Champions Tour headline grand prix in Doha, Brash was crowned overall GCT champion. In doing so, he overtook London Olympic champion and fellow Brit Ben Maher as show-jumping’s world number one.
Fencing – James Davis: Davis’s gold medal performance at the St Petersburg Grand Prix made him the first Briton to win a Grand Prix fencing title since 2009. At the European Championships, Davis also won an individual and team bronze in the men’s foil.
Golf – Justin Rose: Rose clinched his first major title by becoming US Open champion, the first Englishman to win the trophy for 43 years.
Gymnastics – Max Whitlock: Whitlock was the first Brit to win gold on the floor at European Gymnastics Championships, as well as winning silver in the all-around competition. At the World Championships he achieved a silver medal in the men’s pommel horse final, only narrowly missing out on gold.
Hockey – Barry Middleton: Middleton was instrumental in England’s 5-0 victory over Japan to reach the World Leauge semi-finals and secure a place at the 2014 Hockey World Cup. In the quarter-final match that preceded that victory, Middleton scored the winning goal in the final stages, ensuring England’s progression.
Ice Hockey – Saffron Allen: In 2012 Allen sustained a fractured neck whilst playing for England under-18’s, as well as two slipped discs at the Olympic qualifying tournament in China. Allen was left unable to walk following the incident and has fought her way back to fitness this year. Last month she made an unbelievable return at the World University Winter Games, scoring Britain’s only goal against the USA and the winning goal against Spain.
Judo – Sally Conway: After winning bronze at the Abu Dahbi Grand Prix, Conway continued her medal winning form with a further bronze at the Jeju Grand Prix in Korea, the final event of the 2013 International Judo Federation World Tour. She also captured gold at the European Cup in Malaga.
Luge – AJ Rosen: A year out from the Sochi Winter Olympics, Rosen qualified for and competed at the FIL World Championships in Whistler, where he finished 23rd.
Modern Pentathlon – Nicholas Woodbridge: Woodbridge became the first British man in 20 years to win an individual medal at the World Championships. The two-time Olympian won silver at the event in Chinese Taipei and ended his season ranked 15th in the world.
Rowing – Andrew Triggs-Hodge: At the World Championships, Triggs-Hodge won a historic gold in the men’s eight by being part of the first British crew in history to win the title. He also raced to men’s eight gold in the Sydney and Eton Dorney Regattas at the 2013 World Cup Series.
Sailing – Bryony Shaw: Shaw achieved her first podium finish at an RS:X World Championship with silver in Buzios. She added to this with gold at both the World Cup regatta in Hyeres and the Sail for Gold Regatta in Weymouth.
Shooting – Amber Hill: Hill made history when she became the youngest-ever winner of a senior World Cup aged just 15, before going on to win silver at the Shotgun World Championships, where she equalled the senior world record. Hill finished the season as the number one ranked senior in Great Britain and number five in the world.
Short Track Speed Skating – Elise Christie: Christie established herself as Britain’s most successful female short track speed skater ever by winning World Championship bronze and finishing the 2012/2013 season ranked world number one in the 1000m.
Skeleton – Shelley Rudman: Rudman became Britain’s first female World Skeleton Champion after winning gold in St Moritz at the end of the 2012/2013 season. Rudman is currently sitting second overall in the FIBT World Cup series as she vies for qualification for Sochi 2014.
Ski and Snowboard – James Woods: Woods won Britain’s first slopestyle skiing medal at a major championships with bronze in the Euro Winter X Games. Currently Woods leads the World Cup standings having won 2 out of 2 events, which consequently act as the Olympic qualifiers for Sochi.
Table Tennis – Liam Pitchford: Pitchford reached a career high 54th place in the table tennis world ranking after beating the world 16th and 18th seeds at the ITTF World Tour in Poland. This is the 20-year-old’s first time inside the world’s top 100 and is now also the British number one
Taekwondo – Lutalo Muhammad: Not only did Muhammad secure his first British title and win the Serbian Open, he also won a dramatic -80kg final at the World Taekwondo Grand Prix in Manchester.
Tennis – Andy Murray: London 2012 Olympic Singles Champion Andy Murray continued to make history in 2013 by ending Britain’s 77-year wait for a men’s singles champion at Wimbledon.
Triathlon – Non Stanford: Despite a near disastrous bike crash in Hamburg mid-season, Stanford continued to dominate the ITU World Series. She became the 2013 ITU World Champion following her win at the ITU Grand Final in Hyde Park.
Weightlifting – Jack Oliver: Oliver made remarkable progress in 2013, setting British records on his way to 8th place in the 85kg class at the European Under-23 and Junior Championships. He also improved his lift from London 2012 at the World Senior Championships to finish 21st overall.
Wrestling – Leon Rattigan: Rattigan overcame the current World Junior Champion at the 39th Henri Deglane Tournament in Nice to win gold in the 96kg category.