TORONTO - Wheelchair racer Chantal Petitclerc, who won five gold medals and set three world records at the Beijing Paralympics, was named winner of the 2008 Lou Marsh Award on Tuesday.
The award, decided by a panel of sports editors, reporters and broadcasters, is given annually to Canada's most outstanding athlete by the Toronto Star.
It is named after a former Toronto Star sports editor.
The 38-year-old from Montreal finished ahead of six other finalists: figure skater Jeffrey Buttle, wrestler Carol Huynh, equestrian Eric Lamaze, baseball's Justin Morneau, tennis star Daniel Nestor and triathlete Simon Whitfield.
Petitclerc has won 14 gold medals over a span of five Paralympic Games and has another five silver and two bronze. She hasn't lost in 10 consecutive Paralympic races dating back to 2004 in Athens.
In Beijing, she often beat competitors who were 16 years younger.
The panel featured representatives from the Toronto Star, CBC, CTV, The Fan 590, Globe and Mail, La Presse, National Post, Rogers Sportsnet, TSN, Toronto Sun and The Canadian Press.