Cynthia Appiah Named Recipient of L. Lamont Gordon Award
CALGARY—Cynthia Appiah has been named the recipient of this year’s L. Lamont Gordon Award which was created in 2017 and presented annually to the athlete who embodies the spirit of sportsmanship and the characteristics the late Mr. Gordon demonstrated himself: commitment, generosity, dedication and teamwork.
“This is shocking to me. I never really think that I have done anything significant enough to receive an honour like this, but this just reaffirms that my decision to continue with the sport in 2018 is the right one. My teammates are there for me, they are very supportive, and I really appreciate that,” said Appiah.
Nominated by her teammates in the national program, Appiah has overcome many challenges in her life both on and off the track and has actively chosen to commit to the pursuit of excellence and teamwork. The 29-year-old has been a driving force behind Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton’s mission to create a more positive culture while living by a strong set of values.
“I really do take great pride being a member of team Canada. Day in and day out we all go through the same grind, but at the end of the day, we all have each other’s backs,” added Appiah.
Now a veteran of the National Bobsleigh Team, the alternate brakeman at the 2018 Olympics who has now turned to the driver’s seat, has taken a leading role in welcoming new team members to the program, mentoring rookies in the sport and ensuring all involved in the community honour the team’s values.
“We have learned about Cynthia’s courage and dedication on the track, and her commitment to step up to lead by example and support teammates when things go sideways. This is exactly the great teammate that my father lived by,” said Pamela Gordon, who also donated $1,000 to Appiah. “No matter the race, the time of day, or how good or bad things were going, Cynthia made sure to stay calm and always pulled the team together. My father would be very proud of her. We can’t think of a better recipient and is very deserving of this award.”
An accomplished Bay Street business leader and alumnus of Canada’s bobsleigh program, L. Lamont Gordon, who sadly passed away last month, financially supported the Canadian bobsleigh and skeleton athletes for more than half a century.
Growing up in the west side of Toronto, Appiah has overcome obstacles throughout her life to continue chasing her athletic dreams which were sparked as a young girl while attending a sport camp conducted by the Toronto Blue Jays in a community park. Relentless in her drive to achieve excellence, Appiah was a standout shot put and hammer throw athlete at York University before getting introduced to bobsleigh eight years ago.
After attending a testing camp, and taking part in her first bob school, Appiah has made steady progression in the sport. She enjoyed a standout rookie season on the World Cup where she pushed multiple athletes to the World Cup podium with some of the fastest starts in the world.
After playing a key support role on Canada’s 2018 Olympic Bobsleigh Team in PyeongChang, Cynthia switched positions in the sled into the driver’s seat. Weeks after returning from Korea, she headed to Lake Placid where she took part in a driver’s school, and is now steadily mastering the art of piloting a sled.
“One thing I try to bring forward as I go to areas across Canada is to drive home the message it doesn’t matter where you come from, the income or socio-economic status you grew up in. The world is your oyster if you can find the right pathway, and someone who can guide you along the way. I believe that I am an example of that.” said Appiah.
Bobsleigh CANADA Skeleton is a non-profit organization and the national governing body for the sports of bobsleigh and skeleton in Canada. With the support of its valued corporate partners – Karbon, Driving Force, Calgary Stampede, Conceptum Sport Logistics and Joe Rocket Canada – along with the Government of Canada, Own the Podium and the Canadian Olympic Committee. Bobsleigh CANADA Skeleton develops Olympic and world champions. Please visit us at www.bobsleighcanadaskeleton.ca.