The voters have spoken and, once again, UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre has won the 2009 Sportsnet Canadian Athlete of the Year award.
St. Pierre was selected Sportsnet Canadian athlete of the year over Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby.
“Thanks to Sportsnet, and all the fans,” said St. Pierre, a native of Saint-Isidore, Quebec. “It’s an honour to win the award two years in a row. Congratulations to Sidney Crosby, it is a great honour to be nominated with him.
“Crosby is a great hockey player and in a country where hockey is king, it says a lot about the growth of MMA for me to win this award again.”
It was a big year for St. Pierre as he successfully defended his welterweight crown first with a TKO of BJ Penn at UFC 94 in January and then defeated number-one contender Thiago Alves in a unanimous decision at UFC 100 in July.
Crosby, the youngest NHL captain to ever win the Stanley Cup, led the Pittsburgh Penguins over the Detroit Red Wings in the finals last June. For the current NHL season, Crosby is fourth in scoring and has four game-winning goals, second most in the league.
Fan voting for this award was a two-stage process. Voters were asked to select from a group of nominees that featured St. Pierre, Crosby, baseball sluggers Jason Bay and Joey Votto, doubles tennis star Daniel Nestor, Washington Capitals defencemen Mike Green and Winter Olympians Christine Nesbitt and Alexandre Bilodeau.
St. Pierre and Crosby were the top two vote-getters among that group and readers then had a week to vote between the two Canadian sports stars.
St. Pierre joins basketballer Steve Nash as the only athlete to win the Sportsnet award in two consecutive years. Nash won in 2005 and 2006, the same years he was named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player.