WATERLOO, Ont. (February 22, 2013) - Kelly VanderBeek, a three-time World Cup downhill skiing medalist and participant at the 2006 Winter Olympics, will deliver the keynote address at the Outstanding Women of Laurier (OWL) event March 21, 2013 at 11 a.m. at the Waterloo Inn and Conference Centre.
VanderBeek was one of Canada's top female skiers over the past decade before she announced her retirement from the sport earlier this year. She has also more recently established herself as a TV analyst and broadcaster, working at both the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver as well as the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England.
The Outstanding Women of Laurier Award will be presented at the March 21 event to a student-athlete selected from a number of finalists. The award recognizes a female Laurier student who successfully combines athletic and academic achievement with an active commitment to leadership and the development of young athletes through community teaching or coaching.
"Kelly has been a great representative of the Kitchener-Waterloo area throughout her career and we are honoured to have her speak at our event this year," commented Peter Baxter
, director of athletics and recreation at Laurier. "This event showcases our exceptional female student leaders and the impact they have in our community, something that Kelly has been a role model for over the past 10 plus years."
VanderBeek, a native of Kitchener, Ont., enjoyed a racing career that began back in 1991 at Chicopee Ski Club. Her first taste of the world stage came at the World Junior Championships where she medalled in the Super G in both 2002 and 2003, earning bronze.
She translated that success at the junior level to the senior stage where she introduced herself to the world at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy with a fourth place finish in the downhill, just three one-hundredths of a second from the podium.
Following her excellent showing in Torino, VanderBeek proceeded to win three world cup medals in the downhill between 2007 and 2009, including a pair of silver medals and a bronze medal, with the later coming at Lake Louise. In 2008, she finished the season fifth overall in the World Cup standings.
However, leading up to her second Winter Olympics appearance, Kelly suffered a serious knee injury which prevented her from competing at the Games. She would turn the disappointment into a new career path as she entered broadcasting and was a regular contributor during the Vancouver Olympics and has since become a guest broadcaster with Sportsnet, CBC and Sportscene.
The Outstanding Women of Laurier luncheon will be hosted again by Daiene Vernile, anchor and producer of Provincewide, the CTV current affairs program, and a Laurier alumna (BA '85). Originally from Toronto, Vernile began her broadcasting career at multicultural radio station CHIN. After working as the station's legislative reporter for many years, Vernile moved to Texas and reported for an ABC affiliate. In the early 1980's, she returned to Canada and has worked at CTV Kitchener ever since.
The Outstanding Women of Laurier luncheon is proudly sponsored by RBC Royal Bank, M&M Meat Shops Ltd., and Miller Thomson LLP.
For more information about the Outstanding Women of Laurier luncheon, or to purchase tickets online, please visit www.laurierathletics.com/owl