Estonian Athlete of the Year

The Estonian Athlete of the Year (Estonian: Eesti Aasta Sportlane) is an annual award presented by the Estonian Olympic Committee (Eesti Olümpiakomitee, EOK) to one male and one female sportsperson judged to have delivered the best performance over the course of the year. The winners of the award, which was first conceived in the 1930s and has been presented every year since 1955, are chosen by an aggregated vote from sporting journalists, national sporting federations, and the public at large.

Athlete of the Year
(Aasta Sportlane)
CountryEstonia
Presented byEstonian Olympic Committee
First awarded1931[1]
Most awardsErika Salumäe (9)
Websitehttps://aastasportlane.eok.ee/

Initially an accolade presented to one individual, the award was split into male and female categories beginning in 1967. In 2020 the two categories were merged due to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to the international and national sporting calendars.[2] The athlete with the most wins is cyclist Erika Salumäe, who has won the award on nine occasions.

List of award winnersEdit

 
Cyclist Erika Salumäe (pictured in 2009) won Athlete of the Year a record nine times between 1983 and 1996

Cyclist Erika Salumäe has won Athlete of the Year more than any other athlete, male or female, with nine wins between 1983 and 1996. Skier Kristina Šmigun-Vähi is the second-most decorated winner, having been chosen as Female Athlete of the Year on eight occasions. Of male athletes, the most successful are weightlifter Jaan Talts, cyclist Aavo Pikkuus, and skier Andrus Veerpalu, each with five wins.[3] Pikkuus holds the record for the most consecutive awards won, achieving his five successively between 1974 and 1978.[4]

The youngest ever Athlete of the Year recipient is swimmer Kaire Indrikson who won in 1977 at the age of sixteen, while Aavo Pikkuus is the youngest male winner on record, achieving the first of his five wins in 1974 at the age of twenty.[4] With a combined age of 39 years at the time of the 1977 awards, Indrikson and Pikkuus additionally constitute the youngest pair of winners from a single year.[5] Chess player Paul Keres is the oldest person to be recognised as Athlete of the Year, winning his third award in 1962 at the age of 46. The oldest woman to win is fencer Heidi Rohi, who in 2001 was awarded Athlete of the Year at the age of 35.[4] Keres also holds the record for the longest span of time over his awards, his third in 1962 coming 26 years after his first award in 1937. In awards presented solely after the Second World War, this distinction is held among male athletes by rower Jüri Jaanson, who won the award three times over fifteen years (1990–2004), and among female athletes by Erika Salumäe and Kristina Šmigun-Vähi, who each won their awards over fourteen-year periods (1983–1996 and 1997–2010 respectively).[6]

Three members of the same family have each won Athlete of the Year: Ulvi Voog-Indrikson in 1957, her daughter Kaire Indrikson in 1977, and her granddaughter Triin Aljand in 2011 and 2012.[6]

By yearEdit

Single award (1955–1966; 2020)Edit

 
Chess player Paul Keres (pictured in 1969) was awarded Athlete of the Year twice, in 1959 and 1962, following his pre-war win in 1937
Year Athlete of the Year Ref.
Athlete Sport
1955 Feliks Pirts Shot put
1956 Uno Palu Decathlon
1957 Ulvi Voog-Indrikson Swimming
1958 Uno Palu (2) Decathlon
1959 Paul Keres Chess
1960 Hanno Selg Modern pentathlon [7]
1961 Toomas Leius Tennis [8]
1962 Paul Keres (2) Chess
1963 Toomas Leius (2) Tennis [8]
1964 Ants Antson Speed skating
1965 Toomas Leius (3) Tennis [8]
1966 Mart Vilt Middle-distance running
From 1967–2019 the award was split into male and female categories (see below)
2020 Ott Tänak (2) and Martin Järveoja Rallying [9]

Split award (1967–2019; 2021– )Edit

 
Weightlifter Jaan Talts (pictured in 1972) was a five-time Athlete of the Year winner between 1967 and 1972
 
Cyclist Aavo Pikkuus (pictured in 1977) was named the men's Athlete of the Year five times consecutively from 1974 to 1978
 
Rower Jüri Jaanson (pictured in 2015) was voted male Athlete of the Year three times between 1990 and 2004
 
Cross-country skier Kristina Šmigun-Vähi (pictured in 2006) was named the women's Athlete of the Year eight times between 1997 and 2010
 
Fencer Julia Beljajeva (pictured in 2013) was selected as the female Athlete of the Year in 2013 and 2017
Year Male Female Ref.
Athlete Sport Athlete Sport
1967 Jaan Talts Weightlifting Laine Erik Middle-distance running [10]
1968 Jaan Talts (2) Weightlifting Laine Erik (2) Middle-distance running
1969 Jaan Talts (3) Weightlifting Svetlana Tširkova Fencing
1970 Jaan Talts (4) Weightlifting Tiiu Parmas Tennis
1971 Vambola Helm Motorcycle racing Luule Tull Motorcycle racing
1972 Jaan Talts (5) Weightlifting Raissa Ruus Middle-distance running
1973 Ain Vilde Ice yachting Illa Raudik Underwater orienteering
1974 Aavo Pikkuus Cycling Endla Vellend Archery
1975 Aavo Pikkuus (2) Cycling Virve Holtsmeier Archery
1976 Aavo Pikkuus (3) Cycling Liivi Erm Shooting
1977 Aavo Pikkuus (4) Cycling Kaire Indrikson Swimming
1978 Aavo Pikkuus (5) Cycling Reet Palm Rowing
1979 Jaak Uudmäe Triple jump Reet Palm (2) Rowing
1980 Jaak Uudmäe (2) Triple jump Marina Trofimova Swimming
1981 Jüri Poljans Sprint canoeing Inna Rose Shooting
1982 Heino Puuste Javelin throw Inna Rose (2) Shooting
1983 Heino Puuste (2) Javelin throw Erika Salumäe Cycling
1984 Tiit Haagma Ice yachting Erika Salumäe (2) Cycling
1985 Riho Suun Cycling Kaija Parve-Helinurm Biathlon
1986 Heino Puuste (3) Javelin throw Kaija Parve-Helinurm (2) Biathlon
1987 Jaan Ehlvest Chess Erika Salumäe (3) Cycling [11]
1988 Allar Levandi Nordic combined Erika Salumäe (4) Cycling
1989 Jaan Ehlvest (2) Chess Erika Salumäe (5) Cycling
1990 Jüri Jaanson Rowing Erika Salumäe (6) Cycling
1991 Tiit Sokk Basketball Kristiina Nurk Finswimming [12]
1992 Kaido Kaaberma Fencing Erika Salumäe (7) Cycling [13]
1993 Indrek Sei Swimming Oksana Jermakova Fencing [14]
1994 Ago Markvardt Nordic combined Margrit Tooman Modern pentathlon [15]
1995 Jüri Jaanson (2) Rowing Erika Salumäe (8) Cycling [16]
1996 Erki Nool Decathlon Erika Salumäe (9) Cycling [17]
1997 Erki Nool (2) Decathlon Kristina Šmigun Skiing [18]
1998 Erki Nool (3) Decathlon Jane Salumäe Long-distance running [19]
1999 Andrus Veerpalu Skiing Kristina Šmigun (2) Skiing
2000 Erki Nool (4) Decathlon Kristina Šmigun (3) Skiing [20]
2001 Andrus Veerpalu (2) Skiing Heidi Rohi Fencing [21]
2002 Andrus Veerpalu (3) Skiing Kristina Šmigun (4) Skiing [22]
2003 Andrus Värnik Javelin throw Kristina Šmigun (5) Skiing [23]
2004 Jüri Jaanson (3) Rowing Kristina Šmigun (6) Skiing [24]
2005 Andrus Värnik (2) Javelin throw Maarika Võsu Fencing [25]
2006 Andrus Veerpalu (4) Skiing Kristina Šmigun (7) Skiing [26]
2007 Gerd Kanter Discus throw Irina Embrich Fencing [27]
2008 Gerd Kanter (2) Discus throw Kaia Kanepi Tennis [28]
2009 Andrus Veerpalu (5) Skiing Ksenija Balta Long jump [29]
2010 Nikolai Novosjolov Fencing Kristina Šmigun-Vähi (8) Skiing [30]
2011 Gerd Kanter (3) Discus throw Triin Aljand Swimming [31]
2012 Heiki Nabi Wrestling Triin Aljand (2) Swimming [32]
2013 Nikolai Novosjolov (2) Fencing Julia Beljajeva Fencing [33]
2014 Rasmus Mägi Hurdling Erika Kirpu Fencing [34]
2015 Mart Seim Weightlifting Epp Mäe Wrestling [35]
2016 Rasmus Mägi (2) Hurdling Ksenija Balta (2) Long jump [36]
2017 Ott Tänak Rallying Julia Beljajeva (2) Fencing [37]
2018 Magnus Kirt Javelin throw Saskia Alusalu Speed skating [38]
2019 Magnus Kirt (2) Javelin throw Kelly Sildaru Freestyle skiing [39]
2021 Rasmus Mägi (3) Hurdling Katrina Lehis Fencing [40]

By number of winsEdit

The tables below list the individuals who have won Athlete Name of the Year more than once.

Key
Indicates awards won before separate male and female categories
Athlete of the Year winners (male)
Athlete Sport No. Years won
Jaan Talts Weightlifting 5 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1972
Aavo Pikkuus Cycling 5 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978
Andrus Veerpalu Skiing 5 1999, 2001, 2002, 2006, 2009
Erki Nool Decathlon 4 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000
Toomas Leius Tennis 3 1961, 1963, 1965
Heino Puuste Javelin throw 3 1982, 1983, 1986
Jüri Jaanson Rowing 3 1990, 1995, 2004
Gerd Kanter Discus throw 3 2007, 2008, 2011
Rasmus Mägi Hurdling 3 2014, 2016, 2021
Uno Palu Decathlon 2 1956, 1958
Paul Keres Chess 2 1959, 1962
Jaak Uudmäe Triple jump 2 1979, 1980
Jaan Ehlvest Chess 2 1987, 1989
Andrus Värnik Javelin throw 2 2003, 2005
Nikolai Novosjolov Fencing 2 2010, 2013
Magnus Kirt Javelin throw 2 2018, 2019
Ott Tänak Rallying 2 2017, 2020[a][b]
Athlete of the Year winners (female)
Athlete Sport No. Years won
Erika Salumäe Cycling 9 1983, 1984, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1995, 1996
Kristina Šmigun-Vähi Skiing 8 1997, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2010
Laine Erik Middle-distance running 2 1967, 1968
Reet Palm Rowing 2 1978, 1979
Inna Rose Shooting 2 1981, 1982
Kaija Parve-Helinurm Biathlon 2 1985, 1986
Triin Aljand Swimming 2 2011, 2012
Ksenija Balta Long jump 2 2009, 2016
Julia Beljajeva Fencing 2 2013, 2017

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the male and female awards were merged for 2020.[9]
  2. ^ Shared with Martin Järveoja.

ReferencesEdit

General

  • "Eesti Parimateks Valitud Mees- Ja Naissportlased, Võistkonnad Ja Treenerid 1955 – 2009" [Male and Female Athletes, Teams and Coaches Selected as the Best in Estonia 1955–2009]. Eesti Olümpiakomitee (in Estonian). 27 December 2009. Archived from the original on 20 April 2010. Retrieved 29 October 2020.

Specific

  1. ^ Lääne, Tiit (14 February 2011). "Parimate sportlaste ajastu avas mässumeelne Elmar Rähn". Eesti Päevaleht (in Estonian). Retrieved 27 December 2020.
  2. ^ "HÄÄLETA | Algas "Aasta sportlane 2020" rahvahääletus". EER Sport (in Estonian). Eesti Rahvusringhääling. 1 December 2020. Retrieved 26 December 2020.
  3. ^ Kalvet, Madis (27 December 2017). "Eesti spordiaasta valimistel on seni kõige rohkem laineid löönud Salumäe ja Šmigun-Vähi". Delfisport (in Estonian). Retrieved 13 November 2020.
  4. ^ a b c "Varasemad aastad" [Early years]. Aasta Sportlane (in Estonian). Eesti Olümpiakomitee. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
  5. ^ Roosna, Märt (30 December 2014). "Märt Roosna | Aasta sportlaste valik – märgiline nii heas kui ka mitte nii heas mõttes". Õhtuleht (in Estonian). Retrieved 15 November 2020.
  6. ^ a b "Spordiaasta Tähtede eel: mis ühendab Andrus Veerpalu, Jaan Taltsi ja Aavo Pikkuusi?". Postimees (in Estonian). 26 December 2016. Retrieved 17 November 2020.
  7. ^ "Suri olümpiamängude hõbemedalist Hanno Selg". Delfisport (in Estonian). 2 October 2019. Retrieved 16 November 2020.
  8. ^ a b c Jürine, Jaan (27 August 2011). "Toomas Leius 70: Tennisist kuulus maailma esikolmekümnesse". Eesti Päevaleht (in Estonian). Retrieved 14 November 2020 – via National Library of Estonia.
  9. ^ a b Maarja Värv, ed. (3 January 2021). "Aasta sportlase tiitli pälvisid Ott Tänak ja Martin Järveoja". EER Sport (in Estonian). Eesti Rahvusringhääling. Retrieved 16 January 2021.
  10. ^ Laulik, Jüri (23 November 2017). "Spordiaasta 1967 oli Eestile väga hea aasta". Delfi Lood (in Estonian). Ekspress Meedia. Retrieved 13 November 2020.
  11. ^ "Spordikroonika". Eesti Päevaleht (in Estonian). 13 January 1988. p. 8. Retrieved 25 December 2020 – via National Library of Estonia.
  12. ^ Peegel, Lembit (22 December 2012). "Esimesest parimast sportlasest sai punapartisan". Laupäevaleht LP (in Estonian). No. 12. p. 32. Retrieved 5 December 2020 – via National Library of Estonia.
  13. ^ "Kümme aastat uut Eestit, 1992". Eesti Päevaleht (in Estonian). 12 July 2001. Archived from the original on 30 November 2020. Retrieved 28 November 2020.
  14. ^ "Valiti '93. a. parimad sportlased". Vaba Eestlane (in Estonian). 14 January 1994. p. 6. ISSN 0837-0672. Retrieved 24 November 2020 – via National Library of Estonia.
  15. ^ "Eesli 1994.a. parimad sportlased". Vaba Eestlane (in Estonian). 10 January 1995. p. 6. ISSN 0837-0672. Retrieved 4 December 2020 – via National Library of Estonia.
  16. ^ Kalve, Mati (28 December 1995). "Eesti 1995. a. parimad sportlased on Erika Salumäe ja Jüri Jaanson". Eesti Päevaleht (in Estonian). p. 5. Retrieved 23 November 2020 – via National Library of Estonia.
  17. ^ "Parimad on Erika Salumäe ja Erki Nool". Eesti Päevaleht (in Estonian). 22 December 1996. Archived from the original on 27 April 2021. Retrieved 18 November 2020.
  18. ^ "Nool ja Shmigun – 1997.a parimad". Vaba Eestlane (in Estonian). 30 December 1997. p. 6. ISSN 0837-0672. Retrieved 15 November 2020 – via National Library of Estonia.
  19. ^ "Aasta parimad sportlased". Õpetajate Leht (in Estonian). 31 December 1998. p. 4. ISSN 1406-6319. Retrieved 13 November 2020 – via National Library of Estonia.
  20. ^ Martinson, Jaan; Pahv, Peep; Press, Gunnar; Vaher, Andres (28 December 2000). "Erki Nool: "Teadsin, et tiitel kuulub mulle!"". Õhtuleht (in Estonian). Archived from the original on 10 November 2020. Retrieved 11 November 2020.
  21. ^ "Eesti aasta sportlased on Veerpalu ja Rohi". Eesti Päevaleht (in Estonian). 21 December 2001. Archived from the original on 11 November 2020. Retrieved 11 November 2020.
  22. ^ "Aasta sportlased on Veerpalu ja Šmigun". Delfisport (in Estonian). Baltic News Service. 28 December 2002. Archived from the original on 22 October 2015. Retrieved 8 November 2020.
  23. ^ "Aasta sportlased on Värnik ja Šmigun". Delfisport (in Estonian). 28 December 2003. Archived from the original on 20 September 2015. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
  24. ^ "Olümpia-aasta sportlased on Kristina Šmigun ja Jüri Jaanson". Eesti Päevaleht (in Estonian). 30 December 2004. Archived from the original on 10 November 2020. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  25. ^ "Aasta parimad sportlased on Maarika Võsu ja Andrus Värnik". Postimees (in Estonian). 29 December 2005. Archived from the original on 10 November 2020. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  26. ^ "Parimateks sportlasteks valiti Veerpalu ja Šmigun". Postimees (in Estonian). 26 December 2006. Archived from the original on 13 November 2020. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
  27. ^ Pau, Aivar (26 December 2007). "Aasta sportlased on Irina Embrich ja Gerd Kanter". Eesti Päevaleht (in Estonian). Archived from the original on 13 November 2020. Retrieved 8 November 2020.
  28. ^ Simson, Kai (26 December 2008). "Aasta sportlased on Kaia Kanepi ja Gerd Kanter". Maaleht (in Estonian). Archived from the original on 14 November 2020. Retrieved 8 November 2020.
  29. ^ Kalvik, Andres (26 December 2009). "Balta ja Veerpalu valiti Eesti aasta sportlasteks". Postimees (in Estonian). Archived from the original on 8 August 2020. Retrieved 8 November 2020.
  30. ^ Adorf, Margit (27 December 2010). "Aasta sportlased on Kristina Šmigun-Vähi ja Nikolai Novosjolov". Eesti Päevaleht (in Estonian). Retrieved 30 October 2020.
  31. ^ Simson, Kai (28 December 2011). "Aasta sportlased on Triin Aljand ja Gerd Kanter". Maaleht (in Estonian). Retrieved 30 October 2020.
  32. ^ Siim Boikov, ed. (27 December 2012). "Aasta sportlased on Heiki Nabi ja Triin Aljand". ERR Sport (in Estonian). Eesti Rahvusringhääling. Retrieved 30 October 2020.
  33. ^ Silver Kuusik, ed. (28 December 2013). "Selgusid aasta parimad sportlased" (in Estonian). Eesti Rahvusringhääling. Retrieved 30 October 2020.
  34. ^ Koort, Kaspar (27 December 2014). "Eesti aasta parimateks sportlasteks valiti Rasmus Mägi ja Erika Kirpu". Õhtuleht (in Estonian). Retrieved 30 October 2020.
  35. ^ "Parimad sportlased on Mart Seim ja Epp Mäe". Koit (in Estonian). ERR. 29 December 2015. p. 5. Retrieved 8 November 2020. via the National Library of Estonia
  36. ^ "Balta and Mägi scoop the top Estonian award". European Athletics Association. 6 January 2017. Retrieved 14 November 2020.
  37. ^ Kaasik, Siim (27 December 2017). "Mida ütlesid spordiaasta parimad oma tänukõnedes?". Postimees (in Estonian). Retrieved 14 November 2020.
  38. ^ Roosna, Märt (4 September 2018). "Magnus Kirdi ja Saskia Alusalu ühine abiline: neil kahel on üks suur sarnasus". Delfisport (in Estonian). Retrieved 29 October 2020.
  39. ^ Andrew Whyte, ed. (20 December 2019). "Magnus Kirt and Kelly Sildaru voted sportspeople of the year". EER News. Eesti Rahvusringhääling. Retrieved 29 October 2020.
  40. ^ Andrew Whyte, ed. (30 December 2021). "Gallery: Women's épée team dominate Sports Stars of the Year awards gala". EER News. Eesti Rahvusringhääling. Retrieved 10 January 2022.

External linksEdit