By her own standards, last years’ Great Vegan Athlete of the Year Meagan Duhamel had a less successful year. After two years as World Champion the Canadian pairs figure skater didn’t retain her title, although she did retain her Skate Canada International title twice in the year! She won her fifth title at the start of 2017 (read more here) and an incredible sixth in October.
Past finalist Vlad Ixel continued winning races, expanding his repertoire. The Australian ultra-distance trail runner won the MSIG 54k trail race, and while the cours at Ultra Trail Australia did not suit his style, he came fourth. He also entered some triathlon races and despite being new to cycling entered the National Duathlon Championship and incredibly won his age group (more here). Fellow Australian Morgan Mitchell entered the innovative Nitro Athletics event with the pick of world athletics. Also on the track, veteran athlete Ellen Jaffe Jones, a successful runner of 5k to half marathon, took three national top 20 placings in 50m, 100m and 20m. She also released a book about eating healthily to improve sexual health. Past Great Vegan Athlete of the Year Fiona Oakes was more interested in longer distances, taking on her third Marathon des Sables. She hit some unexpected issues in ‘the world’s toughest footrace’ but still completed the event (more here).
Ben Dame took on a similar challenge when he ran 250km across China in heats up to 50 C, finishing fourth (more here). Alister Gardner’s emphatic win the 100 mile Ultra Trail Bromont in Canada avoided the heat Ben and Fiona endured but took on enormous height gain. There was mixed news for vegan triathletes competing at the 70.3 distance. Canadian Antoine Jolicouer Desroches took a podium place as a Pro Athlete at the Chatanooga Half Ironman, and went on to compete at the World Ironman Championships. Meanwhile Slovenian Sebasjan Gregoric qualified for the World Ironman 70.3 2018 Championships although the cost has meant he’s had to turn it down. Rich Roll took on a different type of race as the 50 year old swam 10 km and ran 60 km across Swedish seas and islands in one of the world’s toughest races (more here).
Fighter, racquets, snooker…
Baseball pitcher Pat Neshek helped the US to their first win at the World Baseball Classic, and fellow American Cam Awesome won his fourth US Golden gloves title. Martial artist James Southwood fought his way through to the semi-final of the European Championships. Former World Champion wrestler Austin Aries started a fight of a different kind when released a book about the food industry and veganism (more here). Our youngest featured athlete, 12 year old Cody Elkins, won the World Racquetball Championships in the 12 and under category, 14 and under category and combined 14 and under to become World Champion (more here). Snooker’s Neil Robertson won the Hong Kong Masters, beating the World Champion in the process (more here). Ida Anderssen entered the World Masters Championships, which is the World Championships for veterans, and won Gold in the rowing Double Sculls (more here).
Bodybuilder Julia Hubbard won the Pro Open Figure Category at the UNBA Universe in the Pro Category (more here), and followed this with a win and two seconds at the North Atlantic and East Coast Championships. Six days later she took a win and two seconds at the NGA East Coast and then won Pro Figure at the ANBF Sunshine State (more here). She went on to the IPL South West Grand Prix where she entered four categories and won them all (more here). November saw her enter the IPL pinnacle event where she entered four categories and took three seconds and one win (more here). Veteran bodybuilder Joe ‘Monk’ Coleman, just short of his 48th birthday competed in the open (not veterans) category at the Battle of the Bay against men in their 20s and 30s, and amazingly took the win. He was awarded a Pro Card (elite status) as a result by organisers INBF – his second Pro Card (more here). Ali Crowdus performed at the Arnold Sports festival and improved two of her three lifts (read more). Hulda B Waage competed in the Icelandic Nationals and broke the National Squat record (read more). Hulda B Waage competed in the European Power-lifting Championships where she broke her National record for Squat and took another in Bench. She also broke the National record for a total (more here). Later in the year she went on to break her own national records again (more here). Ali Crowdus’ was named as the tenth woman in the world to have benched 500lb (226.8kg) and her bench was named as the 12th biggest of all time (read more). Vegan power-lifters took numerous records. Vegan super heavyweight Bill McCarthy broke a 20 year old State Benchpress set by a former World Champion (read more). Yolanda Presswood is new to the sport and this year broke the California and US record for Squat and the State record for Bench in a competition where she won best overall Masters lifter (read more). New Zealander Julia Trezise-Conroy broke all four National records in the ~52 kg category when competing at the Nationals (read more), and went on to compete at the World Championships. She also broke the national squat record this year in the ~56kg class (read more). At the World Championships where she broke her own records for squat, bench and total (read more). Just weeks later she entered the World Drug-Free Championships and broke her own national record for bench and total (more here).