(OCT 30) Ireland’s ‘Golden
Girl’ Katie Taylor took the female ‘European Athlete of the
Year’ award in the early hours of this (Friday) morning at the
prestigious ANOC awards ceremony held at the iconic DAR
Constitution Hall in Washington DC.
The current Olympic, World,
European, European Games and European Union lightweight champion
was selected as the Best Female Athlete in all sports from the
inaugural 2015 European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan last June at
the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) awards.
The men’s award went to Azerbaijani wrestler Togrul Asgarov.
Taylor won her 60th gold in the
Azeri capital to secure her 18th major International title since
2005. Should she go on to win the 2016 World crown in Astana in
May she will set a new ‘six in a row’ female record equaling
that of famed Cuban Félix Savón in the men’s worlds.
“I’m just so honoured and humbled to receive this award. I’d
like to thank ANOC for such a great evening and I’d like to
thank the Olympic Council of Ireland and Pat Hickey for their
continuous support”, said the AIBA World No. 1.
“I’d also like to thank my family. Their support and
encouragement throughout the years has been unfailing to me. I’d
be nowhere without them. This is just the icing on the cake for
me this year.”
ANOC President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah told the audience
which included heads of Olympic Committees and prominent stars
from world of sport and entertainment :
“In the past 14 months we have witnessed five wonderful
Continental Games and enjoyed breath-taking sporting moments at
each one,” said ANOC President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah.
“These moments did not happen by accident, they were created by
dedicated athletes, supported by their NOCs, achieving peak
“NOCs and athletes are the heart of the Olympic Movement and in
recognition of this the ANOC Awards 2015 involved athletes from
multiple NOCs at every stage, from selecting the award winners
all the way to presenting the awards themselves.
“This created a true spirit of gratitude and shared unity which
is the hallmark of the ANOC Awards.”
“This is the clear illustration that the athletes are at the
heart of the Olympic Movement and that they get the recognition
they deserve and they get it twice,” said IOC President Thomas
“They get it first on the podium when they receive their medals
and then tonight, in a pretty different atmosphere.”
Patrick Hickey Senior Vice President of ANOC was very proud to
be presenting the prestigious award to the "Best Female Athlete
of the European Games 2015 " Katie Taylor. Katie is now focusing
on qualifying for Rio 2016 at the AIBA women's boxing World
Championships in Kazakhstan next May. Though the 2016 AIBA
women’s worlds’ have been re-scheduled for May, Katie’s coach
and Dad, Pete Taylor commented : “We had a six-week plan with
Zaur (Zaur Antia, Irish interim head coach). It’s crazy, but
it’s the same for everyone and it is better for us to prepare.”
The top male and best female athletes from each of the five
Continental Games were honoured in Washington.