8:30 a.m., Jan. 2)
Canada’s Queen of the Rings named Female Athlete of the Year
By Fred Sherwin
year’s selection for Team of the Year was extremely close
with two deserving teams in the running for the title.
seems only fitting that with the Winter Olympics just
over a month away, the Orléans Star’s Male and
Female Athletes of the Year for 2017 will both be competing
at the Games in PyeongChang next month.
28 years of age, Orléans native and Cairine Wilson Secondary
School alum Rachel Homan is arguably the best skip in
becoming a three-time winner of the Scotties Tournament
of Hearts last February, Homan led her foursome to a gold
medal win at the World Curling Championships in Beijing,
becoming the first team to ever go unbeaten throughout
the entire competition.
Scotties and World Championships established the Homan
foursome as the team to beat at the Roar of the Rings
Olympic qualifying tournament in Ottawa last month.
in front of a partisan hometown crowd, Team Homan didn’t
disappoint as they finished second in the round portion
of the tournament and went on to beat the Chelsea Carey
foursome in the final to earn a ticket to the Winter Olympic
began her curling career in the Little Rocks program at
the Navan Curling Club. She would go on to win four provincial
bantam championships between 2003 and 2006; the gold medal
at the 2006 Canada Winter Games; the 2010 Canadian Junior
Championship and three Scotties Tournament of Hearts titles
in 2013, 2014 and 2017.
speedskater earns Male Athlete of the Year honours
the past 12 months, Male Athlete of the Year recipient
Vincent De Haître established himself as a legitimate
medal threat in the sport of speed skating.
Cumberland native and Béatrice-Desloges alum started the
year off by winning his fourth straight national title
in the 1000-metres at the Canadian Single Distance Championships.
month later, De Haître won a silver medal in the 1000-metres
at the World Single Distance Championships. Two weeks
afterwards he shattered Jeremy Wetherspoon’s 10-year-old
record over the distance on his way to another silver
medal at the World Sprint Championships in Calgary.
Haître maintained his level of con-sistency in the final
World Cup event of the season, placing second in the 1000-metres
and second in the distance in the overall World Cup standings.
He also won the overall World Cup title in the men’s team
sprint event along with Laurent Dubreuil and Olivier Jean
the run up to the Winter Olympics, De Haître has struggled
to find the same form of a year ago. After placing second
in the 1500-metres at the opening World Cup event in the
Netherlands, he has placed no higher then fourth in his
specialty, the 1000-metres.
four weeks to go before the start of the Winter Olympics,
De Haître is still confident he will find the form needed
to win an Olympic medal.
year’s runner up for Male Athlete of the Year was Ryan
Licandro. The 17-year-old St. Peter High School senior
led the Cumberland Panthers to a dramatic come from behind
win in the Ontario Provincial Football League championship
in August, and then followed that up by leading an undefeated
St, Peter Knights team to the city championships.
mention as well went to Sir Wilfrid Laurier Secondary
School alum Kurleigh Gittens Jr. who was named a First
Team All-Canadian and the OUA’s Player of the Year as
a receiver with the Laurier Golden Hawks.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support of
our local business partners.)