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People’s Choice Sports Awards Winners Announced

Media Release
Date: 10 December 2004

Freedom Air People’s Choice Sports Awards Winners Announced

Sarah Ulmer voted Supreme Winner

Winners from each of the six categories, as well as the overall Freedom Air People’s Choice Sports Awards Supreme Winner, were announced last night at a gala dinner at the Hyatt Regency Auckland. The awards were broadcast live on SKY Sport 1 and simulcast on Radio Sport. Category winners are as follows.

Cyclist Sarah Ulmer was voted ‘Sportswoman of the Year’ and Supreme Winner. Ulmer jumped on her first bike at 15 and won a Junior World gold medal two years later, before becoming the Commonwealth Individual Pursuit champion in Kuala Lumpur and Manchester. This year, the 28-year-old Aucklander proceeded to break the world record in Melbourne, only to smash it twice later in the year at Athens and take home the Olympic gold.

‘Paralympian of the Year’ was awarded to Peter Martin, Team Captain for the Athens Paralympics. Martin holds the world records in his class for shot put, javelin and pentathlon and won two gold medals and a bronze at Athens.

‘Sports Coach of the Year’ was awarded to the world’s most successful Sevens rugby coach, Gorden Tietjens. Tietjens has won two Commonwealth Games Gold Medals and a World Sevens crown in Argentina in 2001, along with the IRB Sevens title for the fifth time this year.

Olympic Gold medalist, Hamish Carter was announced ‘Sportsman of the Year’. Carter has been chastising his lean 70-kilogram frame with triathlons for twelve years. He now has 22 professional victories under his belt, including 12 World Cup wins and Athens gold.

Capturing the Ranfurly Shield for the first time in the union’s 93-year history, Bay of Plenty Steamers were announced ‘Sports Team of the Year’. They also made the NPC semi-finals for the first time.

Lance Armstrong the greatest Tour de France rider of all time was voted ‘International Team/Sportsperson of the Year’ This year, the 33-year-old Texan clinched a record sixth consecutive Tour title, winning six stages himself, including the gruelling Time Trial event.

About the Freedom Air People’s Choice Sports Awards
The Freedom Air People’s Choice Sports Awards provide an opportunity for New Zealanders to select and vote for their favourite sports heroes. The awards comprise six categories: Sports Team, Coach, Paralympian, Sportswoman, Sportsman and International (non New Zealander).

Category finalists - the most popular nominees - were selected as from the thousands of nominations from the New Zealand public via the Freedom Air People’s Choice Sports Awards website as well as phone, text messaging, fax or coupons. The nomination process was monitored by a panel of media representatives and prominent sports personalities including Bernice Mene, Phil Gifford, Trevor McEwen, Anna Lawrence, Martin Crowe, and Secretary General of the NZOC, Barry Maister.

The five finalists in each category, as chosen by the New Zealand public, were revealed over six weeks on SKY Sport and Radio Sport. Each show focused on one of the six awards categories; sportswoman, sportsman, team, coach, paralympian and international.

Viewers and listeners voted for their preferred finalist via SKY Interactive supported by phone voting and text messaging. Proceeds from voting will be donated to Paralympics New Zealand.

Freedom Air People’s Choice Sports Awards Winners:
Paralympian of the Year: Peter Martin
Sports Coach of the Year: Gorden Tietjens
Sports Team of the Year: Bay of Plenty Steamers
Sportsman of the Year: Hamish Carter
Sportswoman of the Year: Sarah Ulmer
International Team/Sportsperson of the Year: Lance Armstrong
Supreme Winner: Sarah Ulmer


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