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Beckie Scott named top Canadian skier


David Pym receives 2002 Volunteer of the Year award

Cross Country skier Beckie Scott of Vermillion, Alberta, is the recipient of the 2002 John Semmelink Award as Canada's most outstanding athlete in skiing and snowboarding.

Scott won an Olympic bronze medal at the Olympic Winter Games last February, the first ever by a Canadian cross country athlete. Her medal may be upgraded to silver or even gold, depending on the outcome of several appeals currently before the international Court for Arbitration in Sport.

The award was created in memory of Alpine ski racer John Semmelink who lost his life while representing Canada in the Arlberg-Kandahar ski classic in 1959. First presented in 1962, it is given annually to the athlete who, through sportsmanship, conduct, and ability, best represents Canada in international competition. The award is presented by the Canadian Ski and Snowboard Association.

In addition to her athletic prowess, Scott is a champion in the fight for drug-free sport. During the 2000-01 ski season she led an athlete campaign for independent drug testing at all Word Cup competitions. She has also been recognized for her charitable endeavours. Responding to her challenge to donate their prize money, athletes in a Continental Cup race last November raised hundreds of dollars for a UNICEF project in Afghanistan.

The CSSA also announced that the recipient of its 2002 Volunteer of the Year award is David Pym.

Pym, from Vancouver, is a long-serving volunteer race official, who has contributed to the sport of alpine skiing at all levels, from local clubs to the Olympic Winter Games. The award is named for Mrs. Pat Ramage, who worked tirelessly on behalf of all snow sports for more than 35 years.

Both awards were presented by Canadian Ski & Snowboard Association President Chris Robinson at the annual Canadian Ski Museum Hall of Fame Awards Banquet, held Nov. 16 at Camp Fortune, Québec.