Winners: Debbie Van Kiekebelt, Athletics

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Debbie Van Kiekebelt running past soldiers

Debbie Van Kiekebelt sprinting past a group of soldiers at the Pan American Games in Cali, Columbia.
Date: 1971
Collection: Canada's Sports Hall of Fame

1971 - Feature Story

Two outstanding track and field athletes named Debbie each won the 1971 Bobbie Rosenfeld Award. Debbie Van Kiekebelt was a pentathlete, a multi-events competitor with high jump her strongest discipline. Debbie Brill was a high jump specialist and innovator.

At age 16 Mississauga’s Van Kiekebelt had finished a credible fifth in the high jump at the 1970 British Commonwealth Games, but a year later she was ranked the top Canadian and North American women’s pentathlete and earned a trip to the 1971 Pan American Games in Cali, Colombia. There, the 17-year-old won the two-day pentathlon with a score of 4,290 points – finishing first in the high jump and long jump, second in the shot put, a tie for second in the 200m and a tie for fifth in the 100m hurdles.

Career Highlights

  • 1977 Inducted into the Mississauga Sports Hall of Fame
  • 1972 Ranked seventh in the world heading into the Olympic Games in Munich
  • 1971 Bobbie Rosenfeld Award (Canada’s female athlete of the year)
  • 1971 Gold medal in pentathlon at the Pan American Games in Cali, Columbia
  • 1971 Won an international pentathlon track meet in Munich, West Germany
Debbie Van Kiekebelt throwing a shot put

Debbie Van Kiekebelt competing in the shot put event of the pentathlon at the Pan American Games in Cali, Columbia.
Date: 1971
Collection: Canada's Sports Hall of Fame

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