Damian Warner is a fine choice for Canadian athlete of the year
But I still would have voted for Andre De Grasse
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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.
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:
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.