Eric Lamaze after winning the individual gold showjumping medal at the Olympics in 2008. © Kit Houghton/FEI
Lamaze received the award at the 36th Canadian Sport Awards (CSA), which celebrate excellence in sport and honour the athletes and leaders who competed and inspired hope throughout the 2008 calendar year.
In 2008, Lamaze had a remarkable year, which included individual gold and team silver medals at the 2008 Olympic Games riding Hickstead. The pair also won the $100,000 CN World Cup Grand Prix at Toronto's Royal Horse Show, €175,000 Rolex World Cup Grand Prix in Geneva, Switzerland, $200,000 Queen Elizabeth II Cup at the Spruce Meadows North American Tournament and $200,000 CN Reliability Grand Prix Spruce Meadows National Tournament. Based on these and many other outstanding results in 2008, Lamaze took over the number one spot on the Federation Equestrian International (FEI) released the Rolex World Rider Rankings.
"As the Olympic jumping gold medalist, and as the top ranked jumper in the world today, Eric Lamaze's sporting achievements are both historic and epic in proportions," said Equine Canada CEO, Akaash Maharaj.
"Still more importantly, his conduct on the field has exemplified good sportsmanship: humility in victory; grace in defeat; and generosity to teammates and opponents alike. We are enormously proud of Eric as an athlete and as a Canadian, and we are grateful to the True Sport Foundation for recognising him as Canada's Male Athlete of the Year."
Lamaze is currently riding, training and competing at the Wellington Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida. He will be joining teammates Yann Candele, Ian Millar, and Keean White, on the Canadian Show Jumping Team competing in the $75,000 FEI Nations' Cup, Presented by CN, on Friday evening, February 28, during the CSIO4* in Wellington, FL.
Based on his exceptional accomplishments in 2008, Lamaze has also been awarded the Equine Canada Gold Medal Award, Equine Canada Equestrian of the Year and the 2008 Ontario Athlete of the Year. Lamaze was also #19 on the Globe and Mail Power List 2009, which recognizes people who have the power to influence Canadian sport in the upcoming months.