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Grandi wins Semmelink Award

Johnston recognized for work with disabled skiers


Thomas Grandi, the first Canadian male to win a World Cup slalom medal, has been awarded the prestigious John Semmelink Memorial Award.

The Semmelink award is presented annually by the national governing bodies of snow sports to the athlete who, through sportsmanship, conduct and ability, best represents Canada in international competition.

"Thomas Grandi represents excellence in athletic performance, tireless commitment to sport development, and contribution to community," said Ken Read, president, Alpine Canada Alpin. "This award reflects outstanding accomplishment and Thomas Grandi's leadership makes him a very worthy recipient."

First presented in 1962, the award was created by the Canadian Ski and Snowboard Association in memory of John Semmelink who lost his life while representing the association in the Arlberg-Kandahar ski race on Feb. 7, 1959 in Garmisch-Partinkirchen, Germany.

Grandi’s accomplishments last season included a second place finish in the World Cup slalom at Kitzbuehel, nine top 15 finishes in World Cup races, and finishing the year ranked 10 th overall in slalom and 13 th overall in GS. The season also saw Grandi became the first Canadian to win 11 national titles.

The Canmore, Alberta resident also gives generously as a volunteer. He has lent his name and time to numerous fundraisers, has acted as a public speaker and motivator for several sport organizations, and appeared as a guest and speaker for the Canmore Heart Disease fundraiser, Canmore kids festival and Canmore Air Cadets.

Meanwhile Jerry Johnston, who recently retired as Executive Director of the Canadian Association for Disabled Skiing after serving from 1976 to present, has been awarded the Patricia Ramage Award.

Named for Mrs. Pat Ramage, who worked tirelessly on behalf of all snow sports for more than 35 years, the award recognizes tireless volunteer efforts and dedication as a volunteer to the association.

Johnston was the Founding President, Canadian Association for Disabled Skiing as well as the Founding President, Alberta Amputee Ski Association in 1970. He was instrumental in setting up the Japanese Handicapped Ski Association, and was the first Western Canadian President for the Canadian Ski Instructors' Alliance, from 1968 to 1970.

He has been involved as a volunteer and staff member at numerous disabled ski exhibitions and events from the 1984 Sarejevo Olympic Winter Games up to current Paralympic and disabled world championships.

The awards will be presented at the annual Canadian Ski Museum Ski Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony to be held Nov. 13 at Camp Fortune Ski Area, Old Chelsea Québec.

Squamish’s Owen Carney, one of the leaders of the local Weasel Workers and a course worker on numerous World Cup and Olympic downhills, will be inducted into the Canadian Ski Hall of Fame at the ceremony.

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