Alexandria Loutitt, Laurence St-Germain named co-winners of John Semmelink Memorial Award

A pair of Canadian world champions were named co-winners of John Semmelink Memorial Award on Wednesday, with ski jumper Alexandria Loutitt and alpine skier Laurence St-Germain sharing the honours after historic seasons.

Bestowed to snow sport athlete who best represents Canada internationally with integrity, conduct and ability

A composite image showing two women smiling while holding up a gold medal worn around their necks.
Alexandria Loutitt, left, made history as the first Canadian ski jumping world champion, while Laurence St-Germain became the first Canadian woman to win gold in slalom at a world championship since Anne Heggtveit in 1960. (The Canadian Press)

A pair of Canadian world champions were named co-winners of John Semmelink Memorial Award on Wednesday, with ski jumper Alexandria Loutitt and alpine skier Laurence St-Germain sharing the honours after historic seasons.

The award is bestowed annually by the Canadian Snowsports Association to a Canadian snow sport athlete who best represents the country in international sport with integrity, conduct and ability.

Loutitt made history as the first Canadian ski jumping world champion, while St-Germain became the first Canadian woman to win gold in slalom at a world championship since Anne Heggtveit in 1960.

St-Germain upset American Mikaela Shiffrin for slalom gold to secure Canada's record fourth medal at the alpine world championships in Meribel, France. Loutitt joined her as world champion eleven days later with a gold medal in the women's large hill event in Planica, Slovenia.

"I am honoured and thankful to be recognized with this award," St-Germain said in a release. "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."

WATCH | St-Germain edges Shiffrin for slalom gold at worlds:

Canadian Laurence St-Germain edges Shiffrin for slalom gold at worlds

1 year ago
Duration 1:59
St-Germain beat American Mikaela Shiffrin by 0.57 seconds to top the podium at the alpine world ski championships.

The two-time Olympian from Saint-Ferréol-les-Neiges, Que., said she is happy to be sharing the most prestigious award in Canadian snow sports with Loutitt.

"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," St-Germain said.

It was a breakout year for Loutitt, who also became the first Canadian woman to win a World Cup ski jumping event in January in a normal hill competition in Zao, Japan. In early February, the 19-year-old Calgarian became the first Canadian woman to win a world junior title in ski jumping in Whistler, B.C.

"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," Loutitt said.

"Being named the co-winner alongside Laurence St. Germain, an extraordinary athlete whom I deeply admire, is a true honour."

WATCH | Loutitt becomes Canada's 1st-ever ski jumping world champion:

Calgary's Alexandria Loutitt becomes Canada’s 1st-ever world champion in ski jumping

1 year ago
Duration 4:45
Calgary's Alexandria Loutitt claimed the gold medal at the world championships in Planica, Slovenia on Wednesday, winning the HS138 ski jumping title.

Loutitt jumped 225 metres during the first ever women's ski flying competition in Vikersund, Norway in March — claiming the title of Canadian distance record holder. She was part of Canada's bronze-medal winning team at the 2022 Olympics.

The teenage sensation has used her success to be a role model for young girls, encouraging them to dream big and battle through adversity. A lot of them are Indigenous, particularly from her Nihtat Gwich'in roots.

The 2023 John Semmelink Memorial Award will be presented at the annual Canadian Ski Museum and Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Nov. 17 in Montreal.

The award's namesake lost his life in a training accident while competing in Garmisch, Germany. The award was first presented in 1962 to Heggtveit.

WATCH | Get to know Alexandria Loutitt:

Get to know Olympic ski jumper Alex Loutitt

1 year ago
Duration 2:46
Alex Loutitt is an Olympic ski jumper that has set the bar for young, emerging Canadian athletes. In this video, we get to know who she is and how she started ski jumping.

With files from The Canadian Press

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