As a dominant cross-country skier who continued to compete on the international scene after leaving university, Marilyn Atkinson forged a unique path as a top athlete, both at Carleton and on behalf of Canada. While here, she led her team to O.W.l.A.A. championships in both 1977-78 and 1978-79, and earned for herself two consecutive O.W.l.A.A. Gold Medal individual championships. Her extraordinary abilities were rewarded by the University with first the Ruth Coe Memorial Award as Carleton's top athlete in both 1978 and 1979, and then by becoming the first woman ever to win Carleton's Athlete of the Year award in 1977-78.