It’s time to choose this year’s Air Canada Athlete of the Year.
The last two years with Sochi 2014 sandwiched between votes, winter athletes Charles Hamelin and Alex Bilodeau took top honours. This year, roughly nine months to Rio 2016, summer athletes are the focus and rightfully so, as each one of the 2015 nominees is an outright world champion.
The vote tally is entirely fan based and one lucky voter will win two round-trip tickets to any destination Air Canada flies in North America.
Here are the nominees:
An Olympic bronze medal-winning high jumper from London 2012, Canadian record holder Derek Drouin scaled to new heights at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing. In a dramatic finale that had the audience gasping on every attempt, Drouin came out on top in a nerve-racking and rare “jump off” to decide the winner.
Mark de Jonge
The most dangerous man with a paddle in Canadian sport, Mark de Jonge uses his powers for good by putting Canada on Olympic and world podiums. The kayaker took London 2012 bronze in the K-1 200m event, a discipline in which he has dominated since then, setting the world record and winning back-to-back world championships in 2014 and 2015.
A fresh face in Canadian sport, Shawn Barber exploded onto the scene by setting and resetting the Canadian pole vault record multiple times in 2015. At worlds in Beijing, 21-year old Barber pulled of one of the year’s biggest international sport upsets by beating a field that included arguably the most dominant pole vaulter in history, France’s Renaud Lavillenie.
Barber gave local fans a glimpse of his growing legend when he won gold at TO2015, equaling the Pan Am Games record.