Lay honoured by IOC 

Award recognizes work with women in sports

The International Olympic Committee has named Vancouver’s Marion Lay the winner of the its Women and Sport Trophy for the Americas for 2001.

Lay, a former Olympic swimmer, is also chair of the Vancouver-Whistler 2010 Bid Corporation and founding chair of PacificSport National Sport Centre — Greater Vancouver.

"I am totally surprised," said Lay. "It’s one thing to do the work, but it’s another to be recognized for the work you do. I have had two honours in my life that I will treasure forever. This is one and the Bobbie Steen Award. "

Lay was recognized in 1999 by The Bobbie Steen Award of Excellence, which was created to recognize administrative excellence in sport and recreation.

"This award meant a lot to Carol Anne Letheren before she passed away (earlier this year)," continued Lay, a close personal friend of the former CEO of the Canadian Olympic Association. "It was an award she was very supportive of and that makes it mean that much more to me."

Lay is one of the founding members of Promotion Plus, the provincial organization for the promotion of girls and women in physical activity and sport. She also led the creation of the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women in Sport.

"This recognition by the IOC is a tribute to the role Marion has played in making Canada one of the world’s leaders in gender equity within the sport system," said Wendy Pattenden of White Rock, the President and CEO of the PacificSport National Sport Centre — Greater Vancouver. "We have so many positive women athletes and women sport leaders and I personally believe Marion has paved the way for the opportunities they now have here in Canada."

Pattenden, who two years ago became the first female President of a National Sport Centre in Canada, is a former Canadian women’s tennis champion and former Head Coach and Captain of Canada’s Federation Cup women’s tennis team. Other BC system leaders include Sandra Stevenson, the President of Sport BC, and Lynda Cannell, the Executive Director of SportMedBC.

The award ceremony will take place during the International Olympic Committee Executive Board meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland at the IOC headquarters in May. The exact date is to be determined.

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