KELOWNA, B.C. – UBC Okanagan Heat cross country head coach Malindi Elmore was named the Female Athlete of the Year at the 47th annual City of Kelowna Civic and Community Awards that were held at the end of April at the Laurel Packinghouse.
Elmore, a Kelowna native, was recognized for her accomplishments over the course of 2020 and 2021, highlighted by a ninth-place finish in the women's marathon at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games.
She was one of two finalists with ties to UBCO as Joanna Brown, a student-athlete on the Heat's women's cross country team, was also nominated after competing for Canada in Tokyo in the triathlon while also winning the Canada West Cross Country championships this past Fall.
The third finalist for the award was Kierra Smith, another Canadian Olympian in Tokyo who competed for the Canadian swim team in the breaststroke.
"It is an honour to be recognized by the city in such a competitive field of nominees with my teammates from Tokyo, Kierra Smith and Joanna Brown," said Elmore on the award. "I also was very encouraged to see the recognition of one of our Jr. Heat athletes, Tatum Wade, win the female high school athlete of the year. The awards ceremony is very inspiring – so many good people of Kelowna doing great work across the community in the arts, business, leadership and volunteering."
Elmore, who is the Canadian women's marathon record holder, made a triumphant return to the Olympic stage in Tokyo in 2021.
After previously representing Canada at the Athens games in 2004, competing in the 1500m, she set a goal to finish inside the Top 10 in the marathon at the Olympics. She would accomplish that goal as she posted a time of two hours, 30 minutes and 59 seconds to finish ninth, marking the best Olympic marathon finish by a Canadian woman in a non-boycott Games.
In addition to Elmore and Brown being finalists for the Female Athlete of the Year award, the Heat women's softball team was a finalist for the Bryan Couling Memorial Award - Athletic Team of the Year while former women's softball coach Joni Frei was a finalist for the Bob Giordano Memorial - Coach of the Year award.