Sports·THE BUZZER

Damian Warner is a fine choice for Canadian athlete of the year

CBC Sports' daily newsletter salutes Lou Marsh Trophy winner Damian Warner while also making a quick argument for Andre De Grasse.

But I still would have voted for Andre De Grasse

Damian Warner won the Lou Marsh Trophy on the strength of his historic performance in the Olympic decathlon. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

This is an excerpt from The Buzzer, which is CBC Sports' daily email newsletter. Stay up to speed on what's happening in sports by subscribing here.

Damian Warner won the Lou Marsh Trophy

The Olympic decathlon champion was voted Canada's athlete of the year today by a group of Canadian sports media elites. The other finalists were sprinter Andre De Grasse, swimmer Maggie Mac Neil, soccer players Alphonso Davies and Steph Labbé, and baseball star Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who was born in Montreal but has never identified as Canadian.

Personally, I would have voted for De Grasse, who won the men's 200 metres in Tokyo to become Canada's first Olympic track gold medallist in a quarter century.

He also took bronze in the Olympics' marquee event, the 100m, and lifted a so-so Canadian team to bronze in the 4x100 with a blistering anchor leg.

For me, De Grasse's performances were the most impressive and electrifying of any Canadian individual athlete's in Tokyo.

But Warner is a fine choice, and truly worthy of the honour. His first Olympic gold medal was the crowning achievement of a brilliant career that also includes Olympic bronze in 2016 and three podium appearances at the world championships.

WATCH | Damian Warner named Canada's top athlete for 2021:

Damian Warner named Canadian Athlete of the year

1 month ago
Duration 4:05
CBC Sports Scott Russell discusses why Damian Warner is the perfect candidate as winner of this year's Lou Marsh Award. 4:05

Warner's hard-earned, long-awaited climb to the top step at a major event saw him lead the 10-leg decathlon competition wire to wire and shatter the Olympic record for total points.

Becoming just the fourth decathlete to break the revered 9,000-point plateau, he delivered one of the greatest performances in the history of his sport and one of the most thrilling moments of Canada's best Summer Olympics ever.

He's also, by all accounts, a true sportsman and a wonderful person. So, pretty much the ideal Canadian athlete — in this year or any other.

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