Paralympian makes it back-to-back sport awards
Susan Powell at Friday night's award ceremony. Photo: Jeffrey Chan
Susan Powell conquered the world at the Paralympic Games and now boasts back-to-back sport star of the year awards after claiming the top gong at the ACTSport awards dinner on Friday night.
The C4 cyclist secured the accolade for a second straight year after a superb 12 months which saw her rise from world champion to Paralympic champion.
Her stunning performances in London saw her claim gold and silver and break the world record in the C4 pursuit.
Powell beat stiff competition for the prize - with NBA point guard Patrick Mills, Kookaburras striker Glenn Turner and BMX star Caroline Buchanan also nominated.
It's been a remarkable rise through the sport after Powell only took up cycling six years ago as part of her rehabilitation from a spinal injury she sustained while playing hockey.
The injury left her with nerve damage and a weak right leg.
But despite being 45 years old and riding against competitors 20 years her junior, Powell is now an established star on the track and smashed the world record by two seconds to win Paralympic gold in the individual pursuit.
She then backed that up by taking silver in the women's time trial.
While Powell claimed the top prize and the female athlete of the year award, basketballer Mills was honoured as Canberra's best male competitor.
The 24-year-old admirably led the Australian Boomers in their Olympic Games campaign and proved he could match it with the best players in the world.
Before the competition in London started, superstars Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony were singing his praises.
And when the Games started, Mills delivered with some scintillating performances in an under-strength team.
He averaged 21 points per game and created career highlights with a 39-point haul against Great Britain and a superb game-winning three-pointer against Russia.
Mills also scored 26 points against gold medal winner the United States and he is starting to establish himself in the NBA world of megabucks and megastars.
At the end of the 2011-12 season, he scored 34 points for the San Antonio Spurs to post a record for the highest score in an NBA game by an Australian basketballer.
However, he couldn't lead the Spurs to victory over defending champion Miami on Thursday, scoring just seven points in his 23 minutes on the court.
Canberra United will attempt to get its W-League season back on track in Sydney on Saturday and have been boosted by two awards last night.
The squad was crowned team of the year after going through the W-League season undefeated to claim the club's inaugural title, while Jitka Klimkova beat Matt Beckenham and Carrie Graf for coach of the year honours.