Beckie Scott, a retired Canadian cross-country skiing athlete, will be the special guest at the Red Deer Community Sport Awards and Banquet which will be held next month.
Scott was born in Vegreville, but grew up in Vermilion. She began cross-country skiing at the age of five and entered her first competition at age seven. She attended the Junior National Championships in 1988. She went on to win 17 World Cup medals in sprint, individual and relay cross-country skiing events.
According to Wikipedia, Scott is a three-time Olympian, participating at the 1998 Winter Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan, the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah, and the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Turin, Italy.
Her best-placed finish in Nagano was 45th, but Scott won a gold medal in cross-country skiing at the Salt Lake City games. She originally finished third in the 5 km pursuit, but she was upgraded to the gold medal when winner Olga Danilova and runner-up Larissa Lazutina were eventually disqualified for using darbepoetin, a performance-enhancing drug.
Scott was awarded a silver medal before receiving her gold medal in June 2004, almost two and a half years after the Olympics ended. She became the first Canadian and first North American woman to win an Olympic medal in cross-country skiing.
Scott has been honoured with a variety of awards in Canada, and has been inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame.
Meanwhile, nominations are open for Red Deerians to nominate a coach, official, volunteer, athlete or business supporter to be recognized at the Red Deer Community Sport Awards.
The 2013 Red Deer Community Sport Awards and Banquet will be held Feb. 24 at the Sheraton Red Deer Hotel. The event honours those individuals and groups who excel in their sport and/or volunteer their time and effort to better the community.
“All achievements within sports, people’s contributions or competition successes or the people who have gone the long road to where they are in their sport, is something that needs to be acknowledged,” said Rob Meckling, community and program facilitator with the City of Red Deer.
“We have a whole bunch of people who really get quite excited about making this a big ‘Hollywood’ affair. It’s not quite black-tie, but it is pretty close. From the littlest kids that come into the room to the oldest people who are former lifetime winners walk out of the event feeling like they were at a special event.”
It is the Red Deer Primary Care Network that, for the third consecutive year, will be the event’s title sponsor.
Red Deer Primary Care Network is a partnership between 66 local family doctors and Alberta Health Services that aims to improve access to primary care, provide coordinated care, increase emphasis on health promotion and disease and injury prevention and improve coordination and integration of care.
Nominations for the sports awards can be made at www.scord.ca. The nomination deadline is Jan. 21.