OTTAWA – Swimmer Ryan Cochrane of Victoria, B.C., and diver Emilie Heymans of St. Lambert, Que., have been named Aquatics Canada’s male and female athletes of the year for 2012.

The honours are part of Aquatics Canada annual awards which recognize the outstanding performances and contributions to the sport of diving, swimming, synchronized swimming and water polo.

“We are truly proud to recognize our deserving award winners as we close out the Olympic year,” says Aquatics Canada President, Lisa Schott.

“Their accomplishments are truly outstanding and we look forward to even more success as we enter the next quadrennial, heading towards Rio de Janeiro in 2016.”

The full list of 2012 award recipients is below:

Male Athlete of the Year:
Ryan Cochrane, Swimming

Cochrane (24) won a silver medal in London this summer in the 1,500m freestyle, adding to his Olympic bronze medal in 2008. His performance was the best individual Canadian male result in London.

Female Athlete of the Year:
Emilie Heymans, Diving

Heymans (30) won a bronze medal in 3m synchronized diving (with partner Jennifer Abel) and in doing so, made history by being the first Canadian Olympian to win medals at four straight Olympics.

2012 Aquatics Canada President’s Honour Roll

The following individuals were recognized for their dedication, passion, and advancement of aquatic sports in Canada:

Martin Richard (Ottawa, ON) – Swimming Canada’s communications director
from 2002 to 2012, currently the executive director of communications for the
Canadian Paralympic Committee.

Bill Hogan (St.John’s, NL) – Long-time national and international swimming
official; former president of the Aquatic Federation of Canada.

Lisa Matheson (Welland, ON) – Chair of the Organizing Committee for the 2012
FINA World Junior Open Water Swimming Championships in Welland, ON.

Dr. Andrew Pipe (Ottawa, ON) – A Member of the Order of Canada for his
activities against the use of tobacco and for his championing of ethics and drugfree
sport, Dr. Pipe is the president of Commonwealth Games Canada, past
president of the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport, and Chair of FINA’s Doping
Control Review Board

Team of the Year:
Roseline Filion and Meaghan Benfeito, Diving

Platform divers, Roseline Filion (25, Laval, QC) and Meaghan Benfeito (23, Montreal, QC) were the most consistent and successful team representing Canada in any aquatic sport throughout 2012. They won a bronze medal in the 10m synchronized diving event at the London Olympic Games and collected seven medals from nine FINA sanctioned events this year.

Coach of the year:
César Henderson and Aaron Dziver, Diving

César Henderson (Montreal, QC) and Aaron Dziver (Terrebonne, QC) Henderson and Dziver co-coached an elite group of Canada’s best divers that won seventeen senior international medals in 2012. Three of their athletes (Abel, Benfeito and Filion) were medalists in London.

AFC Spirit of Sport Award:
Marie-Pier Boudreau-Gagnon, Synchronized Swimming

The AFC’s Spirit of Sport award recognizes a current or former national team athlete who has risen above adversity and encompasses leadership, sportsmanship, all while making a contribution to their community through aquatic sport.

This year’s recipient is 2008 and 2012 Olympic synchronized swimmer Marie-
Pier Boudreau-Gagnon (Rivière-du-Loup, QC., 29). A member of the national synchronized swimming team for ten years, Boudreau-Gagnon, retired from the sport following the London Olympics. Not only did she win World Championship, Pan American Games and Commonwealth Games medals, but she also displayed outstanding leadership and perseverance as well as commitment to her community and academic studies throughout her career.

2012 Media Award
Luc Bellemare (RDS – Réseau des sports)

For his exceptional work and personal touch while covering the aquatic sports at the London Olympics. Bellemare has greatly assisted in raising the profile Canada’s aquatic athletes for the past ten years while maintaining the highest level of professionalism.

Canadian aquatic sports won five of Canada’s eighteen medals at 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Aquatics Canada is the collective voice of diving, swimming, synchronized swimming and water polo in Canada and around the world. Aquatics Canada is an excellence-driven organization that champions podium performances and participation in Canadian Olympic aquatic sports.