Air Canada Athlete of the Year is a program developed by Air Canada in partnership with the Canadian Olympic Committee. Since 2012, the Athlete of the Year initiative recognizes one exceptional Canadian athlete that exemplifies the best of Canada and embodies the ambition, drive and ability of our nation. This athlete is celebrated for flying the flag every day, both literally and emotionally, on behalf of the country.
Presenting the award on an annual basis to athletes within Olympic sports helps build awareness to sport and highlights athletes that make their mark not only in Canada, but beyond its borders.
Air Canada is a proud sponsor of the Canada Olympic Team and has the honour and privilege of carrying Canadian Olympians as they travel the world to make their mark. As part of this initiative, Air Canada will provide the winning athlete a pair of Business Class tickets to anywhere that Air Canada flies as well as Super Elite™ status for one year.
The process used to nominate the three finalists has been thorough and included an in-depth look at a long list of summer sport athletes by the nomination committee. The list of 40-plus athletes was arrived at by assigning point values to podium finishes in the year’s competition season. These athletes were then considered and debated by the nomination committee, which consists of representatives from five different stakeholders: Air Canada, the COC (Canadian Olympic Committee), the former winner, the government and the media.
Athletes who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada may be nominated. The nominee must have competed at or be actively qualifying for the next iteration of the Olympic Games and be deemed eligible and in good standing with their National Sport Federation (NSF).
The final decision will be made by you, the fans across Canada, who will determine the winner via an online vote, taking place from November 21 to December 2, 2016. The final winner will be announced on December 8, 2016.