Today’s Poll

Willie Mitchell . . . B.C. Best Athlete

By Contributor
March 1st, 2013

With a record of number of votes cast (7629), British Columbians named Stanley Cup champion Willie Mitchell (Port McNeill, BC) “BC’s best” in a public vote for the Best of BC Award, presented by the Province of British Columbia. 

Reigning Canada Soccer Player of the Year Christine Sinclair, Giro D’Italia winner Ryder Hesjedal, Olympic Silver medalist Ryan Cochrane, 2012 Kentucky Derby winner, Mario Gutierrez, and 2013 Team Canada World Junior captain, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins rounded out the list of finalists. 

The finalists of this award, which recognizes a professional or amateur athlete for outstanding athletic achievement, are amazing BC athletes.
“Willie Mitchell is a homegrown B.C. success story,” said Hon. Bill Bennett, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development.

“He’s a small-town boy who worked long and hard to make it to the NHL, and since then, has done our province proud with his many achievements, including winning the Stanley Cup with the Los Angeles Kings last year. He is an inspiration to all British Columbians, and I congratulate him on this well-deserved award.”
Port McNeill native and LA Kings defenseman, Willie Mitchell is known as the player with the longer than usual hockey stick and his notable leadership qualities. 

In his 13th National Hockey League season, Mitchell signed a two-year extension deal with the Los Angeles Kings. The Kings made it to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1993 – and the first time for Mitchell in his career. Holding the blue line during the final game, Mitchell helped the Kings defeat the New Jersey Devils to win the Stanley Cup Trophy.
“This is award brings together a public voting process and a desire to recognize BC athletes who have had significant athletic achievements in 2012.” said Rob Newman, President and CEO of Sport BC.  “All of the nominees are to be congratulated for their effort and outstanding accomplishments.
“Willie Mitchell’s leadership and athletic achievements”, continued Newman, made British Columbians take notice and name him BC’s best athlete.  Congratulations!”
This is the third year the public has determined the Best of BC award winner, chosen in previous years by the Athlete of the Year Selection Committee.

Previous recipients include Lauren Woolstencroft (Para Alpine Ski), Justin Morneau (Baseball), and Steve Nash (Basketball).

Mitchell will receive the Best of BC award on Thursday, March 7 at the 47th Annual Athlete of the Year Awards. For more information and to view the finalists in all 17 award categories, visit

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