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Damian Warner is your 2021 Lou Marsh Award winner

It's official: Warner is the top Canadian athlete of the year

Damian Warner 2012 Olympics

Out of a list of 24 deserving nominees, Damian Warner has officially been named the 2021 Lou Marsh Award winner. Warner has had the season of a lifetime, winning decathlon Olympic gold with 9,018 points to become only the fourth athlete in history to break the 9,000-point barrier, setting a new Olympic record in the process.

Damian Warner nominated for WA Male Athlete of the Year

The recipient of the Lou Marsh Award, named for¬†Toronto Star¬†sports journalist¬†Lou Marsh,¬†is chosen by a panel of sports journalists as the top Canadian athlete of the year. The 2021 list of nominees was stacked with incredible athletes, including hockey phenom Connor McDavid,¬†Olympic women’s soccer goalie¬†Stephanie Labb√©,¬†decorated Olympic swimmer¬†Penny Oleksiak¬†and of course, Canada’s 100m record-holder,¬†Andre De Grasse.

The 32-year-old from London, Ont. was the first Canadian to win an Olympic gold medal in the decathlon and was Canada’s flag bearer at the Tokyo Olympics closing ceremonies. His performance in Tokyo was outstanding, and not only did he break the decathlon Olympic record, he also tied his world decathlon best in the 100m and set Olympic records in the 100m hurdles and the long jump. In fact, his jump of 8.24 metres would have put him in the bronze-medal position in the individual event in Tokyo.

His achievements are even more impressive considering he spent the majority of the year training in a make-shift facility in an old hockey arena, since COVID-19 lockdowns forced his usual training facilities to close their doors.

Via @AthleticsCanada Twitter.

Damian Warner and Andre De Grasse finalists for 2021 Lou Marsh Award

Ahead of the actual decision,¬†Toronto Star¬†readers put Warner as their top pick in a Lou Marsh bracket created by editors at the publication, with more than 75 per cent of readers choosing Warner for the award. In one of the deepest nomination pools in the award’s history, Warner is more than deserving of the award. Not only has he proved he is a world-class athlete on the international stage, but he has been a true ambassador for Canadian sport, and will no doubt inspire future generations of athletes across the country.