Tyler Mislawchuk is recovering from a broken jaw after a bike crash, but that didn’t stop him from smiling when he received the Sport Manitoba and Manitoba Chicken
Producers trophy as the junior male athlete of the year.
The awards were given out in Winnipeg on April 28.
"I was pretty excited to receive the award," Mislawchuk said.
He was also named Canadian Junior Male Triathlete of the Year for the second year in a row.
The 19-year-old from Oak Bluff was injured while competing in Hong Kong earlier this year. He’d left Canada in January to train in New Zealand at the men’s elite level — a step up from the junior elite category.
"You race guys up until their peak — usually their late 20s or early 30s," he said.
Mislawchuk said he’d played hockey and soccer and ran in cross-country events before entering a triathlon, a sport combining swimming, cycling and running.
"I was told by my coach that I was built like a triathlete," he said.
Luckily for Mislawchuk, Winnipeg is one of three regional training centres for Canadian triathletes.
He’s now training with the goal of qualifying for the U23 World Championships being held in Edmonton at the end of August.
Manitoba National Triathlon Centre head coach Gary Pallett has worked with Mislawchuk for about five years.
"He’s a really hard worker with lots of focus," Pallett said.
Although Mislawchuk has been sidelined by accidents in the past year, Pallett is supporting the triathlete in his goal of being among the two or three males representing Canada in the upcoming world competition.