Double World and European Rowing Champion Sanita Pušpure has been chosen as Cork Person of the Year for 2020. Sanita was chosen from the 12 Cork Persons’ of the Month picked over last year.
The Ballincollig resident was part of Ireland’s 2012 Olympic rowing team and qualified for the women’s single sculls at the 2016 Summer Olympics.
She first came to Ireland from Latvia in 2006 and became an Irish citizen in 2011.
Sanita is considered a favourite to take Gold in this summer’s Tokyo Olympics.
This awards, now in its 28th year, was launched by the then Lord Mayor of Cork, Micheál Martin, back in 1993.
Commenting, the Taoiseach said the nominees and winners of the award over the years are people "who epitomise all that is good and cherished in our communities" and commended Sanita on her win.
"She is an inspiration to the many young people within her own sport of rowing and beyond.
"She is a worthy winner of this award and I wish her continued success.
"I also wish to thank the organisers and sponsors of this excellent awards initiative, which continues to celebrate Cork’s greatest asset, its people," he said.
Due to the current pandemic, the award ceremony had to be cancelled.
"The Person of the Year Gala Awards Lunch, where the Cork Person of Year is usually announced, had to be cancelled this January due to Covid restrictions but will return in January 2022 at the Rochestown Park Hotel,” said awards founder and organiser Manus O’Callaghan.
Cork Lord Mayor Cllr Joe Kavanagh and the Mayor of Cork County Cllr Mary Linehan Foley sent their congratulations and wished the single sculls rowing champion every success in the year ahead.
Cork Person of the Year for 2020 was judged by Ann Doherty, Chief Executive of Cork City Council and Tim Lucey, Chief Executive of Cork County Council.