The 47th Annual Athlete of the Year Awards presented by viasport (founded by SportBC) were held on Thursday, March 7, at the River Rock Hotel in Richmond, and Ryan Cochrane (IS/VAS) came away with one of the marquee awards of the night - Senior Male Athlete of the Year.
With CTV/TSN's "Mr. Olympics", Brian Williams serving as the host for the evening, it looked like swimming might be shut out of the awards for the first time in many years, as the three other finalists on the program - Coach of the Year, Randy Bennett, University Athlete of the Year, Savannah King, and King's women teammates as Team of the Year finalists didn't hear their names called.
As the evening progressed and built from the high-school, to college, to Junior Athlete of the Year awards, then the only swimmer left on the program was Cochrane, who was up against some tough competition in speedskating's Denny Morrison and 2012 Giro d'Italia cycling champion, Ryder Hesjedal.
And despite the tough competition, Cochrane did prevail, as his results over the past year, not the least of which would be his silver medal at the London Olympics, were viewed in the hearts and minds of the judges to be most deserving.
As he couldn't be in attendance to receive, as he's in the final stages of preparations for World Championship Trials at the beginning of April, SwimBC Executive Director, Mark Schuett, accepted on his behalf.