TORONTO, December 22, 2017 - Steve Armitage, who for a half-century called some of the greatest moments in Canadian sports history, headlined the list of award recipients at the 22nd Canada Sports Media Achievement Awards.
The legendary voice of CBC Sports, who handled play-by-play on Hockey Night In Canada for 29 seasons while also calling 27 Grey Cups and 15 Olympic Games, was introduced by former SMC broadcasting award recipient Scott Russell. Armitage was presented with the George Gross Award for Lifetime Achievement by Byron MacDonald – Armitage’s longtime sidekick and colour commentator on swimming at the Summer Olympics – and Alexandra Leggat, whose father Graham taught Armitage the finer points of soccer for their work on CBC’s coverage of the 1986 FIFA World Cup. Scott Russell of CBC Sports, a former George Gross Award recipient, introduced Armitage.
Bernard Brault received his second George Gross Award for excellence in sports photography. Arash Madani, the ubiquitous reporter and host for Rogers Sportsnet, received the broadcasting award, and TSN’s Rick Westhead was honoured with the sportswriting award in recognition of his investigative work on TSN.ca.
Bob Hanley, the late, great Hamilton Spectator columnist, was added to SMC’s Posthumous Honour Roll.
Tim Bezbatchenko, the Toronto FC general manager who molded the team that reached the 2016 MLS Cup final, received the Sports Executive award. Jim Gregory, whose 50-year career in the National Hockey League has included tenures as a coach, general manager, scout and currently the Senior Vice-President of Hockey Operations for the league, received the President’s Award