In recognition of her work during the 2015 Pan Am Games, Andi Petrillo was the recipient of a Canadian Screen Award and a brush with history. Becoming the first woman to win an award in the category for best sports host in a sports program or series, the body of work that contributed to such a monumental milestone was the Pan Am Afternoon show. Adding to the jubilation is the fact that there was a unique element of coincidence as the awards ceremony was held on International Women’s Day.
During the 16-day long Pan Am Games event, hosted in Toronto, Petrillo was definitely the glue that held the broadcast together as fans would be eager to see them report on another triumphant day for Canada’s finest on home soil. Not since the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games had a sporting event captivated so many Canadians, capturing their hearts and minds. Petrillo’s presence helped enhance the feeling of national pride as Canada’s home grown athletes enjoyed unprecedented success at the Games.
With the 2016 Rio Summer Games in sight, Petrillo has continued to help build the momentum as Canada’s Olympic Committee works towards its dream of Owning the Podium. In her superlative work with Scott Russell, their collaboration as co-hosts on CBC’s Road to the Olympic Games has resulted in obligatory weekend television sports viewing, adding a human element to the sweat and sacrifice required to compete, and hopefully excel, at the highest levels of competition in the world.
Such a role is fitting for Petrillo as she shall be part of Olympic Games Daytime from Rio de Janeiro with David Amber this summer. Petrillo definitely brings some familiarity with Brazilian sport as she hosted CBC’s coverage for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, also from Brazil. Of note, 2014 definitely marked a year of milestones for her, including Olympic credentials.
During the 2014 Sochi Games, Petrillo hosted overnight coverage, another international event filled with many glories for Canada’s sporting heroes. As Canada hopes for its greatest Summer Games medal haul at Rio, Petrillo may very well be a good-luck charm.
Petrillo first came to prominence as the first woman to be part of CBC’s long running Hockey Night in Canada broadcast team in-studio. As a side note, she is also the first woman to host a daily sports radio talk show (TSN1050’s Leafs Lunch)
Joining the HNIC group in 2011, it was the culmination of former producer Ralph Mellanby’s vision. One of the most deserving candidates for entry into the Hall, Mellanby hired Helen Hutchison in the 1970s, making her the first woman to work with HNIC. Although Hutchison would leave the show, it was a precedent which was fulfilled to greater heights by Petrillo’s impact.