MICHAELA BREEZES TO OLYMPIC ATHLETE OF THE YEAR AWARD

16 Jan 2008

Welsh weightlifting star Michaela Breeze has been named among the British Olympic Association's (BOA) athletes of the year.

Michaela Breeze

Introduced in 2005, to mark the BOA’s Centenary Year and the awarding of the 2012 Olympic Games to London, the BOA presented a trophy to each of the 35 Olympic Governing Bodies for them to award on an annual basis to their top Olympic Athlete.

Breeze, 29 competed at the Athens Olympics in 2004 where she went on to finish ninth in the 58kg category, equalling her British record.

At the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games, she secured Wales’ first gold medal in the 63kg women’s weightlifting event.

She broke the Games record by lifting a 100kg weight in the Snatch competition – a weight she had never lifted before in her life. Not even in training. She amassed anther Games record in the overall score which secured the top podium position.

Winners of the Olympic awards were also invited to celebrate their achievements at the prestigious BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

BOA Chief Executive Simon Clegg: "The presentation of these trophies recognises the drive, determination and commitment of athletes across all of our Olympic sports as they strive to achieve their goals in the international sporting arena. The BOA hopes to welcome as many of these athletes as possible in to Team GB in the coming Olympiads."

To mark outstanding performances in 2007 the following athletes have been awarded this trophy:

Archery - Naomi Folkard

Athletics - Nicola Sanders

Badminton - Nathan Robertson & Gail Emms

Baseball - Brant Ust

Basketball - Luol Deng

Biathlon - Kevin Kane

Bobsleigh - Lee Johnston

Boxing - Frankie Gavin

Canoeing - Tim Brabants

Curling - Kelly Wood

Cycling - Victoria Pendleton

Equestrian - Mary King

Fencing - Jon Willis

Gymnastics - Louis Smith

Handball - Lynn McCafferty

Hockey - Kate Walsh

Ice Hockey - Robert Dowd

Ice Skating – Jon Eley

Judo - Euan Burton

Luge - Mark Hatton

Modern Pentathlon - Katy Livingston

Rowing - Steve Williams, Andy Triggs Hodge, Alex Partridge & Peter Reid

Sailing - Sarah Ayton, Sarah Webb & Pippa Wilson

Shooting - Charlotte Kerwood

Ski & Snowboarding - Zoe Gillings

Softball - Katy Wilkins

Swimming - Cassie Patten

Table Tennis - Paul Drinkhall

Taekwondo - Aaron Cook

Tennis - Andy Murray

Triathlon - Hollie Avil

Volleyball - Lucy Boulton

Weightlifting - Michaela Breeze

For more information contact Miriam Wilkens or Becki Middleton in the BOA media office on ext 227 or 215.