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Alberta honours top amateur athletes for the 2009 season

May 14, 2010

Edmonton... Canada’s most decorated female speed skater, a world championship skier and an accomplished junior female water polo team are among the amateur athletes being recognized as the Alberta Athletes of the Year for the 2009 season.

“These Alberta athletes are a testament to the value of hard work and illustrate the success of our sport development system,” said Cindy Ady, Minister of Tourism, Parks and Recreation. “Congratulations to each award recipient on their outstanding achievements. Albertans celebrate their talent and accomplishments and we are so proud of how they represented our province."


Female Athlete of the Year

Kristina Groves

Speed Skating

Hailey Casper (junior)


Male Athlete of the Year

John Kucera

Alpine Skiing

Kurtis Wenzel (junior)



Athletes were nominated for these awards throughout the year. An Awards Selection Committee chose the final recipients, based on the nominees’ performance, achievement and contributions to amateur athletics in Alberta. 

“I want to congratulate all of the athletes selected to receive the 2009 awards,” said Bill Persley, Chair of the Alberta Sport, Recreation, Parks and Wildlife Foundation. “These young athletes are role-models for the next generation of athletes coming up in Alberta.”

The Alberta Athlete of the Year program was created in 2002 by the Alberta Sport, Recreation, Parks and Wildlife Foundation to recognize the achievements of the province’s amateur athletes.  The Alberta Team of the Year award has been awarded since 2004.

The recipients will be honored as part of the 2010 Alberta Sports Hall of Fame Induction Banquet on May 28 in Red Deer.                       

Kurtis Wenzel – Junior Male Athlete of the Year

While celebrating his 18th birthday, Kurtis Wenzel won three medals at the 2009 Biathlon Youth and Junior World Championships. Following those wins, Kurtis finished his season with first-place finishes in the relay and sprint events at the Canadian National Biathlon Championships.



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