They competed and they conquered. Now three of Team Canada’s brightest stars of Rio 2016 are vying for your vote as Air Canada Athlete of the Year.
So who will it be this year? Well, that’s up to you, the fan. And if you vote, you could be lucky enough to win two tickets to fly anywhere in North America, courtesy of Air Canada.
May we present, your nominees:
Andre De Grasse
The entire world became enraptured by the ever-evolving relationship and rivalry between De Grasse and Jamaican sprinting legend Usain Bolt in Rio, with both making their own history. For De Grasse, it was becoming the first ever Canadian athlete to stand on an Olympic podium in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay. He was just the third Canadian man to double medal in the 100m and 200m but the first to do so in 88 years. He also broke his own Canadian record in the 200m. Did we mention he did all that before his 22nd birthday?
Literally perfect the night that he won gold in Rio, Drouin became Canada’s first Olympic champion in a field event since Duncan McNaughton also won high jump gold 84 years earlier. He was just the sixth high jumper in Olympic history, male or female, to win gold without a missed attempt. Remarkably, just three months earlier he had learned of a double stress fracture in his back. But optimism, adrenaline, and an actual dream of gold won out as he became the first Canadian to repeat as an Olympic medallist in an individual athletics event in 80 years.
Canada’s Opening Ceremony flag bearer was the country’s only gold medallist four years ago at London 2012. That put her in line for a truly magical moment in Rio when she became the first Canadian to successfully defend Olympic gold at the summer Games. She was also the first trampolinist to win back-to-back Olympic titles. It was all a result of MacLennan bouncing back from a couple of concussions that had hindered her in 2015.