October 27, 2012 (Toronto, ON) – The Beijing to London Cycling Celebration hosted by Cycling Canada took place at the Arcadian Loft on Friday evening and was a well-attended affair with over 150 people including Olympians, Paralympians, coaches, officials, families, friends and fans who were on hand to share a glass and celebrate this past season while paying tribute to Team Canada and our bronze medal winners from London 2012. The evening also served as the kick-off event to Cycling Canada’s AGM also being held this weekend in Toronto.
Canadian cycling luminaries such as Clara Hughes, Tara Whitten, Catharine Pendrel, Emily Batty along with new Olympic medalists Jasmin Glaesser and Gillian Carleton, who captured a bronze medal with Whitten in the Women’s Team Pursuit at London 2012, were sought after all evening.
Paralympic stars like Robbi Weldon, who wore her 2012 Paralympic Games women’s tandem road race gold medal (visually impaired), Marie-Claude Molnar bronze medalist in the women’s C4 road race at the Games, Shelly Gauthier, Brayden McDougall, Robert Labbé and others were kept busy as well.
Joining the festivities were several of Canada’s former superstars like Steve Bauer, Gord Fraser, Tanya Dubnicoff and Lyne Bessette who added luster to the evening. Bessette also shared Weldon’s gold as the tandem pilot. Fraser (road) and Dubnicoff (track) were both coaches at London 2012 with Dubnicoff notably proud of the Canadian Women’s Team Pursuit bronze medal.
Giro winner, Ryder Hesjedal, who couldn’t attend as he’s in Maui, Hawaii at training camps he hosts, was there in spirit and a great video interview with race clips paid tribute to his fabulous victory as the first Canadian to win a Grand Tour.
Hughes was also honoured with several speeches tracing her history and amazing career. She is the only athlete in history to win multiple medals at both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games competing in cycling and speed skating. She is an Officer of the Order of Canada, is inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame and was also honoured with a star on the Canadian Walk of Fame.
For Hughes it was all about “loving to ride her bike” and the fabulous people she met and befriended during her journey of fame. She thanked everyone for the opportunity to race her bike for Canada again and looks forward to being a recreational rider and a mentor for the next wave of Canadian stars.
Many other Olympians shared in the celebrations including Monique Sullivan, Joelle Numainville, Joseph Veloce and Paralympians Marie-Eve Croteau, Jaye Milley, Emilie Roy and Dominique Mainguy. Also in attendance were Olympic coaches Dan Proulx (MTB), Denise Kelly (RD), and Adam Muys (BMX).
Jacques Landry, the Director, High Performance and Head Coach of Cycling Canada shared his thoughts on the 2012 Games saying he was clearly pleased with the results despite not achieving the number of medals they’d hoped for. He spoke about the next couple of years as a development opportunity leading up to the Toronto 2015 Pan-Am Games, and then the Rio Olympics in 2016.
Cycling Canada president, John Tolkamp, highlighted the breadth of accomplishments across the different cycling disciplines and touched on the importance of the “Race Clean” program that Cycling Canada has put in place – proceeds from the event are being directed to that program.
A silent auction also raised money for the sport including signed Olympic jerseys and special photos while numerous awards were handed out as well (see list below) through the evening as guests mingled with the stars enjoying great food and conversation while celebrating cycling in the heart of downtown Toronto – more photos and videos to follow.
2012 Cycling Canada Awards
Event/Organizer of the Year:
- Road – Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec, QC
- Mountain Bike - Championnats Canadiens Marathon, Saint-Raymond, QC
- Track – Championnat Canadien – Dieppe, NB
- BMX – Coupe du Monde, Saint-Augustin, Québec
- Paracycling- Coupe du Monde UCI – Baie Comeau, QC
- Cyclocross – Canadian Championships, Toronto, ON
National Commissaire of the Year – Steve Head, Toronto, ON
Inter-National Commissaire of the Year – Wayne Pomario, BC
Russ Copeland Award – Joakim Albert
President’s Trophy - Ryder Hesjedal
- Adam Muys – BC
- Kelly Murray - NB
- Susan Richards – YK
- Kevin MacCuish – BC
- John Tolkamp – BC
- Bill Kinash – SK
Coaches Recognition Award:
- BMX – Adam Muys
- CLX – Adam Morka
- Road – Rick Lee
- Track – Rob Good
Special Athlete Presentations:
- UCI World Championship, Leogang, Austria World Champion Jr Women’s DH – Holly Feniak
- UCI World Championship, Leogang, Austria Silver Medal Elite Men’s DH – Steve Smith
- UCI Track World Championships, Silver Medal, Zach Bell
- UCI Track World Championships, Bronze Medal, Gilliam Carleton
- UCI Track World Championships, Bronze Medal, Jasmin Glaesser
- UCI Track World Championships, Bronze Medal, Tara Whitten
- Paralympic Games, Road Race, Gold Medal, Robbi Weldon
- Paralympic Games, Road Race, Gold Medal, Lyne Bessette
- Paralympic Games, Time Trial, Bronze Medal, Marie-Claude Molnar