Thomas Grandi awarded John Semmelink award for accomplishments and service


Thomas Grandi awarded John Semmelink award for accomplishments and serviceThomas Grandi, the first Canadian male to win a World Cup slalom medal, has been awarded the prestigious John Semmelink Memorial Award, presented annually by the national governing bodies of the snowsports to the athlete who, through sportsmanship, conduct and ability, best represents Canada in international competition.

“Thomas Grandi represents excellence in athletic performance, tireless commitment to sport development, and contribution to community,” said Ken Read, the president of Alpine Canada Alpin. “This award reflects outstanding accomplishment and Thomas Grandi’s leadership makes him a very worthy recipient.”

First presented in 1962, the award was created by the Canadian Ski and Snowboard Association in memory of John Semmelink, who lost his life while representing the Association in the Arlberg-Kandahar ski race on February 7, 1959 in Garmisch-Partinkirchen, Germany.

This past season Grandi sparked growing interest in snowsports and in the Canadian Alpine Ski Team both at home and around the world by:

* Making history at Kitzbuehel in 2004 with a second-place finish making him the first Canadian to podium in World Cup slalom;
* Recording nine top 15 finishes on the World Cup Circuit in 2003-2004;
* Finishing the season ranked 10th overall in slalom and 13th overall in giant slalom;
* Being the only Canadian male alpine racer to win 11 national titles;
* Recording four top 16 finishes in Winter Olympic Games; and,
* Earning two World Cup medals in his career thus far.

Grandi is also quick to volunteer his services and has given back to his community in a number of ways:

* Lending his name and his time to various fundraisers such as the annual BC Alpine golf tournament;
* Acting as a public speaker and as a motivator for numerous sport organizations and schools in his community;
* Focusing on giving back to the ski community through celebrity appearances and motivational speeches to young racers throughout provincial grass roots programs and events;
* Appearing as a special guest and speaker for the Canmore Heart disease fundraiser, the Canmore kids festival obstacle course and relay race, and the local Canmore Air Cadets.

Jerry Johnston, who recently retired as Executive Director of the Canadian Association for Disabled Skiing from 1976 to present, has also been awarded the Patricia Ramage Award. Named for Mrs. Pat Ramage, who worked tirelessly on behalf of all snowsports for more than 35 years, the award recognizes tireless volunteer efforts and dedication as a volunteer to the association.

Johnston was the Founding President of the Canadian Association for Disabled Skiing as well as the Founding President of the Alberta Amputee Ski Association in 1970. He was instrumental in setting up the Japanese Handicapped Ski Association, and was the first Western Canadian President for the Canadian Ski Instructors’ Alliance from 1968-70.

He has been involved as a volunteer and staff member at numerous disabled ski exhibitions and events from the 1984 Sarejevo Olympic Winter Games up to current Paralympic and disabled world championships. Johnston was inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame in 1980, into the Canadian Skiers Hall of Fame in 1991 and was inducted into the Order of Canada in 2000. He now serves on the Board of Directors of the CSSA.

These awards will be presented at the annual Canadian Ski Museum Ski Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony to be held November 13 at Camp Fortune Ski Area, Old Chelsea Québec.

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