alex bilodeau

Sidney Crosby

Canada’s Lou Marsh award candidates include Olympic champions

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Several Sochi Olympic champions are being considered for the Lou Marsh Trophy, awarded to Canada’s Athlete of the Year.

The award is named after the former Toronto Star sports editor and columnist. The Lou Marsh Trophy will be voted on by Canadian sports journalists on Dec. 10.

On Monday, the newspaper highlighted 14 of the athletes being considered:

Alex Bilodeau, Freestyle Skiing — Sochi Olympic moguls champion
Eugenie Bouchard, Tennis — Wimbledon finalist; Australian Open, French Open semifinalist
Jon Cornish, Football — CFL’s Most Outstanding Canadian player; 2013 Lou Marsh winner
Sidney Crosby, Hockey — NHL MVP, leading point scorer; Sochi Olympic champion
Drew Doughty, Hockey — Stanley Cup winner; Sochi Olympic champion
Justine Dufour-Lapointe, Freestyle skiing — Sochi Olympic moguls champion
Kaillie Humphries, Bobsled — Sochi Olympic champion
Mikael Kingsbury, Freestyle Skiing — Sochi Olympic silver medalist
Justin Morneau, Baseball — National League batting champion
Catharine Pendrel, Cycling — World mountain bike champion
Marie-Philip Poulin, Hockey — Sochi Olympic champion, scoring both Canada goals in the final
Milos Raonic, Tennis — Wimbledon semifinalist; ranked No. 8
Marielle Thompson, Freestyle Skiing — Sochi Olympic ski cross champion
Emma-Jayne Wilson, Horse Racing — More than 1,200 wins since 2004

Hockey is Canada’s sport, but Crosby is the only hockey player to win the Lou Marsh Trophy since Mario Lemieux in 1993. Crosby won in 2007 and 2009 (but baseball player Joey Votto won in 2010, the year Crosby scored Canada’s golden goal to win the Vancouver Olympics).

Bouchard and Raonic made Canadian tennis history this season, but neither broke through to win a Grand Slam. And it’s arguable neither has peaked yet.

From 1984 through 2008, every Lou Marsh winner in an Olympic year was an Olympic or Paralympic champion. That helps the cases for several of the listed athletes.

But, arguably the most dominant Canadian at the Sochi Olympics is not on the newspaper’s list of 14.

That’s curler Jennifer Jones, who skipped the first women’s rink to go undefeated through an Olympics, winning all 11 matches en route to the Canadian women’s first gold since 2002.

Jones’ shots for the tournament were graded at an 86 percent success rate, seven percentage points better than the next best skip. The difference between the second-best skip and the ninth-best skip was four percentage points. That gives an indication of Jones’ domination.

A curler has never won the Lou Marsh Trophy.

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Feelin’ free: A memorable run in Sochi for freestyle skiers

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Some parts were thrilling. Other parts were chilling. But you couldn’t look away at the freestyle skiing action at these Sochi Olympics.

Four new events – men’s and women’s slopestyle and men’s and women’s halfpipe – brought a new level of excitement in Sochi and were a boon in particular to Team USA, which came away with three golds in those debuts from David Wise (halfpipe), Maddie Bowman (halfpipe), and Joss Christensen (slopestyle).

Freestyle skiing was also kind to our neighbors to the north with Canadian wins in men’s and women’s moguls (Alex Bilodeau/Justine Dufour-Lapointe), women’s slopestyle (Dara Howell), and women’s ski cross (Marielle Thompson).

The sport produced one of Sochi’s more memorable characters in Sweden’s Henrik “Wu-Tang is for the children” Harlaut.

And it also produced one of these Games’ most poignant moments too, as competitors paid tribute to late freeskiing pioneer Sarah Burke.

NBCOlympics.com’s Jason Stahl has those highlights and more in his compilation of the 14 most memorable freestyle moments from the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. Click here to check it out.

Alex Bilodeau shared heartfelt moment with brother after winning gold

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Alex Bilodeau said that his brother Frederic served as the motivational force that inspired him to put in the training to eventually win moguls gold. With that in mind, it makes a lot of sense that he sought out his brother after claiming that victory on Monday, as this touching video from NBCOlympics.com reveals.

His brother Frederic has cerebral palsy, so observing what he goes through every day prompted Bilodeau to push harder, as he told Reuters.

“The motivation that he has, if he had had the chances like I did, he would have been four times Olympic champion,” Bilodeau said. “He’s a great inspiration, a great person and he’s going to be an inspiration for me after my career, also.”

At 26, Bilodeau could conceivably shoot for a third gold in the challenging freestyle skiing event. If he does, expect an all-out effort from the Canadian moguls skier.

“There’s up and downs, but at least I try, and that’s what my brother taught me,” Bilodeau.