Winners: Mary Stewart, Swimming
1961 - Feature Story
Away from the pool she was the unusual celebrity Little Leo, a mascot that was part of the British Columbia Lions’ cheerleading team. But Vancouver’s Mary Stewart was best known for her prowess in the water, where the 100-pound powerhouse proved to be among the best in the world. At age 14, she was the youngest member of Canada’s team at the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome, where she finished eighth in the 100m freestyle final. A year later she had matured into a world-beater and record-breaker, twice rewriting the world 110-yard butterfly record held by venerable Australian Dawn Fraser, while also lowering the world mark in the 100m butterfly. In addition to being named Canada’s top female athlete of 1961, Stewart also won the Athlete of the Year award presented by the Amateur Athletic Union of Canada, and the Tip Top Youth National Award.
1962 - Feature Story
The British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Perth, Australia proved to be the highlight of Stewart’s 1962 swim campaign. Capturing four medals, including Gold in the 110-yard butterfly, she became the first Canadian woman in 28 years to win an individual swimming event at the British Empire and Commonwealth Games. She also took a Silver medal in the 4x110 yard freestyle relay and Bronze medals in both the 110-yard freestyle and the 4x110 yard medley relay. Stewart continued to also hold world records in the 100m and 110-yard butterfly events.
- 1963 Silver medals in the 100m freestyle, 100m butterfly, 4x100m freestyle relay and the 4x100m medley relay at the Pan American Games in Sao Paulo, Brazil
- 1962 Gold medal in the 110 yard butterfly; Silver in the 4x110 yard freestyle relay; Bronze in the 110 yard freestyle and the 440 yard medley relay at the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Perth, Australia
- 1961, 1962 Bobbie Rosenfeld Award (Canada’s female athlete of the year)
- 1960 Reached the finals in the 100m freestyle event at the Olympic Games in Rome
- 1959 Silver medal in the 4x100m freestyle relay at the Pan American Games in Chicago, Illinois