By Merryn Sherwood on 13/11/11 at 9:53 pm
Helen Jenkins and Alistair Brownlee have been recognised for their outstanding performances this season at the British Triathlon Annual Awards, being named joint-winners of the 2011 Olympic Athlete of the Year award.
The award was introduced in 2005, to mark the British Olympic Association’s (BOA) Centenary Year and the success of the 2012 Olympic Games being awarded to London, the BOA presented a trophy to each of the 33 Olympic Governing Bodies for them to award on an annual basis to their top Olympic Athlete. The prestigious award rounds off exceptional seasons for the two athletes who both finished the year winning their second career world titles in Beijing.
Helen Jenkins also celebrated winning the GE British Triathlon Female Elite Triathlete of the Year award, following a season which has seen her win the Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship London presented by Tata Steel and finish second in Beijing, Kitzbuhel and Madrid.
Helen was also a member of the ‘dreamteam’ in Lausanne that saw the GE Great Britain Triathlon Team win gold in the ITU Triathlon Mixed Relay World Championships in the Olympic capital of Lausanne.
Upon receiving both awards, Helen commented: “I think it’s the third year in a row and it’s so nice that people keep voting for me.”
She added: “It’s great to be in a sport that is growing so much. It’s an honour to be in such an amazing team, there are so many people doing well at the moment, it’s amazing to be part of the sport at this time.”
On an evening aimed at celebrating Britain at its best, Alistair Brownlee was also awarded the GE British Triathlon Male Elite Triathlete of the Year for the fourth successive year.
Alistair won the Madrid, Kitzbuhel, London and Beijing legs of the Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series and like Helen was a member of the GE Great Britain Triathlon Team that won gold in the ITU Triathlon Mixed Relay World Championships.
When asked about the upcoming London 2012 Olympic Games he commented: “I believe I can be there, and that gives me the best possible chance to win that medal on that day.”