VANCOUVER — Apparently, one is never too old to be recognized as a great athlete.
Despite being 42 — and the senior player in the entire Canadian Football League — B.C. Lions kicker Paul McCallum has been named “British Columbia’s best” in a public vote for Sport B.C.’s Best of B.C. Award, presented by the provincial government.
The 99th Grey Cup’s Most Outstanding Canadian, Lions running back Andrew Harris, reigning Canada Soccer Player of the Year Christine Sinclair, Pan American Games shot put record holder Dylan Armstrong and Stanley Cup winner Mark Recchi of the Boston Bruins were also finalists for the award, which recognizes a professional or amateur athlete for outstanding athletic achievement.
In his 19 CFL seasons, McCallum has won two Grey Cups, been named to the All-CFL team twice, in addition to five all-star selections in the CFL’s West Division. The Surrey native was named the CFL’s most outstanding special teams player in 2011, a season in which McCallum established a league record with 30 consecutive field goals. He also set another record for proficiency, converting 50 of 53 FG attempts (94.3 per cent) and breaking the previous mark of 90.9 set by former Lions kicker Lui Passaglia in 2000.
“Through his performances in the 2011 year, and over the course of his 19-year career, Paul has been a standout athlete,” Carey Summerfelt, manager of Sponsorship and Events at Sport B.C., stated in a press release. “British Columbians have taken notice of his athletic achievements and named him B..C’s ideal athlete.”
This is the second year the public has determined the Best of B.C. award winner, chosen in previous years by the Athlete of the Year Selection Committee. The previous recipient by public vote was Lauren Woolstencroft (Para-Alpine Skiing), in 2011. Previous recipients also include Justin Morneau (Baseball — 2008, 2006), Steve Nash (Basketball — 2006, 2005, 2002 & 2000), and Mitch Berger (Football — 2010).
McCallum will receive the Best of B.C. award on March 8 at Sport B.C.’s 46th Annual Athlete of the Year Awards presented by TELUS.
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