Estonian Athletes of the Year 2020 revealed


Rally team Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja received Estonian Athlete of the Year 2020 award ‘Kristjan’ while figure skating coach Anna Levandi received the ‘Kristjan’ award as the Coach of the Year.

Photo: Hendrik Osula/EOK

In 2020, the one and only title of Athlete of the Year was to be to an individual or a team instead of the three categories, which are Male Athlete of the Year, Female Athlete of the Year and Team of the Year. The tandem of Tänak and Järveoja bested all other nominees in the public voting as well as sports journalists’ voting and ranked second in the sports federations’ voting. All of the above secured the Athlete of the Year award ‘Kristjan’ for the rally tandem. The award show was held in accordance with the COVID-19 regulations.

The Coach of the Year 2020 title was awarded to Anna Levandi, who is supervising the training of 17-year-old Eva-Lotta Kiibus.

Youth Olympic Games winner, freestyle skier Kelly Sildaru was announced as the Young Athlete of the Year while Merle Vantsi, who holds six gold medals of Winter Swimming World Championships, was awarded the Veteran Athlete of the Year title.

The title of the Estonian Sporting Spirit 2020 was awarded to the legendary equestrian Sirje Argus. The public voting had also determined the winner of the sports-friendly local municipality contest, which is the city of Rakvere. The facilities to have received the Sports Venues of the Year title were Türi sports hall and Vastseliina hockey rink. Another category of awards to have been announced at the ceremony was that of the best sports clubs chosen by the sports federations of the counties. The following clubs received recognition:

  • Jõgeva Spordiklubi Tähe, Jõgeva County
  • Hauka Veloklubi, Võru County
  • Hiiumaa Orienteerujate Klubi, Hiiu County
  • Kunda spordiklubi ML Sport, Lääne-Viru County
  • Laheda spordiklubi, Põlva County
  • Läänemaa Jalgpalliklubi, Lääne County
  • Martin Reimi Jalgpallikool, Harju County
  • MTÜ Orissaare Sport, Saaremaa
  • MTÜ Raplamaa jalgpallikool, Rapla County
  • MTÜ Spordiselts Kalev, Tartu County
  • Orienteerumisklubi JOKA, Järva County
  • Orienteerumisklubi WEST, Pärnu County
  • Spordiklubi Maret Sport, Valga County
  • Viljandi Lauatenniseklubi Sakala, Viljandi County
  • Äkke suusaklubi, Ida-Viru County

The winners of the annual awards of 2020 for contributions to culture and sport given by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia were also announced during the ceremony. Six people working in the sphere of sports received the awards:

  • Madis Rahu, orthopedic surgeon, specialist in sports trauma and injury
  • Ülo Kurig, promoter of physical education, teacher, and specialist in sports teaching methodology
  • Rein Ottoson, sailing coach of the highest attainable category (level 8 according to the Estonian Qualification Framework) with 48 years of work experience
  • Rein Põldme, swimming coach for the visually impaired
  • Ilmar Taluste, wrestling coach and promoter
  • Urve Loit, promoter of Nordic combined and ski jumping

The awards ceremony “Athlete of the Year 2020” was organized by the Estonian Olympic Committee with support from the Cultural Endowment of Estonia and Postimees Grupp.