As more than 20 people were honoured at Sport BC’s 55th annual Athlete of the Year Awards earlier this month, Sechelt’s Gracey Hemstreet was among them.
On March 9 at the Vancouver Convention Centre, Hemstreet was named the Junior Female Athlete of the Year.
The award follows a highlight season of Hemstreet’s downhill mountain biking career so far. At the ceremony, the emcee read a brief recap of the 18-year-old’s recent achievements: as she “dominated the junior women’s mountain bike World Cup downhill ranks, winning five races while also garnering two seconds and two thirds to finish her season as junior women’s overall downhill World Cup champion.”
She also became a Red Bull athlete after being presented with the iconic helmet at Cranworx in Whistler by one of her inspirations.
On stage, Hemstreet admitted she didn’t have a speech ready, but thanked Sports BC and congratulated the other nominees and winners. She walked off stage to erupting applause.
The other nominees in the Junior Female category were Renee Batalla for diving, Oonah Gamboa for karate, Lauren Kim for golf and Alicia Zhang for ultimate.
In a press release, Sport BC’s president and CEO Rob Newman said, “This was our first in-person event since 2019 and the 55th Annual Athlete of the Year Awards was a true celebration of sport in our province, the recipients represent an exceptional 2021 and 2022 in BC sport and we are inspired by the sport stories of all of our finalists, the category winners, and the organizations they represent. We are proud to bring the amateur sport community together and thank you guests, sponsors, and friends in sport.”