Two world champion Canadian women, ski jumper Alexandria Loutitt and alpine skier Laurence St-Germain, have been named co-winners of the 2023 John Semmelink Memorial Award.
The prestigious honour is bestowed annually by the Canadian Snowsports Association to a winter athlete who best represents the Maple Leaf in international sport with integrity, conduct and ability.
One of Loutitt's finest achievements came just months ago in Whistler. The 19-year-old soared to victory at the Nordic Ski World Juniors in Callaghan Valley, taking full advantage of a rare opportunity to showcase her sport on Canada's only operational hill. Then on March 1, Loutitt made more history by becoming the first Canadian to strike gold at a senior World Championships with her large hill triumph in Planica, Slovenia.
The last ski jumping World Cup win by any Canadian took place in 1983, when Horst Bulau prevailed more than two decades before Loutitt was born.
Back in 2022, the young Calgary, Alta. native was also part of Canada’s bronze-medal winning team at the Beijing Winter Olympics.
“It fills me with great pride to be acknowledged not only for my results, but also for my unwavering passion and the recognition of my true character,” said Loutitt in a press release. “Having my name included in the list of recipients for the prestigious John Semmelink Memorial Award brings me immense joy. Being named the co- winner for 2022-2033 alongside Laurence St-Germain, an extraordinary athlete whom I deeply admire, is a true honour."
On February 18, Quebec City's St-Germain took gold in women’s slalom at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Méribel, France, besting American legend Mikaela Shiffrin in the process.
"I am honoured and thankful to be recognized with this award,” said the 28-year-old, who is also an engineering student at Polytechnique Montreal. “It means a lot to be recognized for more than skiing, and for qualities like integrity and conduct, values that my parents instilled in our family. It’s nice to be recognized alongside Alexandria with all that she’s accomplished at such a young age, and to be associated with previous winners including Anne Heggtveit, Nancy Greene and Pierre Harvey, who is from my hometown.”