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Canadian mountain bikers to shine in London

MONT-SAINTE-ANNE, QUE. –  Cycling Canada, in collaboration with the Canadian Olympic Committee, is pleased to announce the nomination of Catharine Pendrel, Emily Batty, Geoff Kabush and Max Plaxton to the 2012 Canadian Olympic Team set to compete at the Olympic Games this upcoming summer.

Canada qualified the maximum two spots for the women’s race, and two spots for the men’s race.

The Canadian women’s team has excelled over the last two years, currently sitting in first place of the UCI Nations standings.

“We’re just thrilled to welcome our four intrepid mountain bikers to the nominees for the Canadian Olympic Team,” said Mark Tewksbury, Canadian Olympic Team Chef de Mission for London 2012. “Our Team and the excitement about Canada’s performance in London grow stronger by the day!”

“Canadian athletes are among the best in the world and we are looking so forward to watching them compete in London,” said Marcel Aubut, President of the Canadian Olympic Committee. “Congratulations to all four mountain biking nominees; I know you will all continue to give your everything this summer as you ride toward your Olympic dreams.”

The Canadian mountain bike program is led by Head Coach, Dan Proulx (Victoria, BC) who has been at the helm of the program for the past four years. During that time, the mountain bike program has been revamped and has improved significantly. Proulx is proud of the team heading to London.

“We have a very strong team. Each of the riders has proven themselves among the best in the World. I am extremely proud of them. I know they will ride with courage in London –  inspiring other Canadian mountain bikers to pursue their dreams at the highest level of the sport,” Proulx said.

The team is led by Catharine Pendrel (Kamloops, BC/Team Luna Pro). The reigning World Champion and four-time consecutive Canadian Champion, will be competitive. Pendrel, who placed fourth in Beijing, enjoyed significant success in London at the Olympic test event, winning the race.

“I am thrilled to be representing Canada at the 2012 Olympics in London, and will do my best to give Canada a performance to cheer for and be proud of,” commented Pendrel, who is in contention for the UCI World Cup leader’s jersey, currently in second place.

Emily Batty (Brooklin, ON/Team Subaru-Trek), the young mountain bike star in the making, has also made the cut thanks to a rapid rise since riding in the Elite category. Batty, a four-time U23 Canadian Champion (2007-2010), has enjoyed immediate success on the World Cup scene, finishing eighth in the World Cup standings in her rookie season, last year. This season, Batty rose to the occasion from the first World Cup race, earning her career first podium performance on the UCI World Cup by taking the second place in South Africa.

“This is hopefully the beginning to an amazing path in sport. Not only am I thrilled to represent Canada in my first Olympics, I am confident the Canadian Mountain Bike team will be doing something special in London 2012 this year,” said Batty, currently sitting in fifth place of the World Cup standings.

The Olympic nomination for Geoff Kabush (Courtenay, BC/SCOTT-3RoxRacing) comes with no surprise. The seven-time Canadian Champion is by far the most experienced Canadian mountain biker, and has always risen to the occasion at major events.

“The Olympic Games stands out above all events in the sporting world. This will be my third opportunity to proudly represent Canada and I feel uniquely prepared for the challenge in 2012,” said Kabush. I’m extremely motivated and focused and I’m heading to London with a lot of confidence. With my experience and the support behind me I ready to perform in the spotlight of the Olympic Games. The Canadian MTB team is the strongest I’ve ever seen and I’m really excited to be part of it.”

Max Plaxton (Victoria, BC/Specialized Racing USA) is the two-time Canadian Champion in the elite category, and has enjoyed a rise in the last two years, winning in 2011 the USA Pro XCT Series. On the UCI World Cup Tour, Plaxton is consistently progressing higher and higher in the standings, and holds a promising future in the sport.

Earlier at the recent World Cup in La Bresse, France, Plaxton went on to crack the Top10 for the first time.

“It’s a huge honor to be selected to the represent Canada in the London 2012 Olympic Summer Games. I’ve worked extremely hard the last 4 years to make this goal a reality. I’m excited about both the experience and the challenge of racing the worlds best mountain bikers in London,” said Plaxton, the top Canadian on the World Cup tour in 23rd place.

Both Geoff Kabush and Catharine Pendrel have previous Olympic experience. Pendrel finished fourth in her first Olympic Games experience in Beijing, while Kabush has been to two past Olympic Games. He finished 9th in Sydney, and 20th in Beijing.

In the history of mountain bike at the Olympics, Canada has won two medals. Alison Sydor won the silver medal at the 1996 Games in Atlanta, while Marie-Hélène Prémont also earned a silver medal at the 2004 Games in Athens.

The mountain bike races will be held on the last two days of the Olympic Games, on August 11 for the women’s race and August 12 for the men’s race.

ABOUT CYCLING CANADA
Cycling Canada is the governing body for competitive cycling in Canada. Founded in 1882, Cycling Canada aims to create and sustain an effective system that develops talented Canadian cyclists to achieve Olympic, Paralympic and World Championship medal performances. With the vision to be a leading competitive cycling nation by 2020 celebrating enhanced international success, increased a participation and world class event hosting, Cycling Canada manages the National teams, hosts national and international events, and administers community programs to promote Cycling in Canada.

ABOUT THE CANADIAN OLYMPIC COMMITTEE
The Canadian Olympic Committee leads the achievement of the Canadian Olympic Team’s podium success and advances Olympic values in Canada.

Independent and predominantly privately funded, the Canadian Olympic Committee delivers resources that Canada’s elite athletes need to perform at their best and give their everything every day.

The backbone of Canada’s Olympic movement, the Canadian Olympic Committee works with National Sport Federations to prepare the Team for the Olympic, Youth Olympic and Pan American Games.

By sharing our athletes’ stories, we inspire all Canadians through the power of sport: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Backgrounder

The following list represents the 86 athletes nominated to the 2012 Canadian Olympic Team to date.

 

Athlete

Hometown

Sport

Event(s)

1

Jennifer Abel

Laval, Que.

Diving

Women’s 3m, 3m synchro

2

Emily Batty

Oshawa, Ont.

Cycling

Mountain Bike

3

Joe Bartoch

London, Ont.

Swimming

100m butterfly

4

Zach Bell

Whitehorse, Y.T.

Cycling

Track

5

Meaghan Benfeito

Montreal, Que.

Diving

Women’s 10m, 10m synchro

6

Tyler Bjorn

Montreal, Que.

Sailing

Men’s keelboat – star

7

Alexandra Bruce

Toronto, Ont.

Badminton

Women’s doubles

8

Hilary Caldwell

Surrey, B.C.

Swimming

200m backstroke

9

Gillian Carleton

Scarborough, Ont.

Cycling

Track

10

Samantha Cheverton

Pointe-Claire, Que.

Swimming

200m freestyle, 4x200m freestyle relay, 4x100m freestyle relay

11

Richard Clarke

Toronto, ON

Sailing

Men’s keelboat – star

12

Ryan Cochrane

Victoria, B.C.

Swimming

400m freestyle

13

Gordon Cook

Toronto, ON

Sailing

49er

14

Reid Coolsaet

Hamilton, Ont.

Athletics

Marathon

15

François Coulombe-Fortier

Quebec, Que.

Taekwondo

+80kg

16

Alexandre Despatie

Laval, Que.

Diving

Men’s 3m, 3m synchro

17

Scott Dickens

Burlington, Ont.

Swimming

100m breaststroke, 200m breaststroke

18

Greg Douglas

Toronto, Ont.

Sailing

Finn

19

Danielle Dube

Halifax, N.S.

Sailing

Women’s laser radial

20

Roseline Filion

Laval, Que.

Diving

Women’s 10m, 10m synchro

21

Paula Findlay

Edmonton, Alta.

Triathlon

Women’s triathlon

22

Andrew Ford

Guelph, Ont.

Swimming

200m individual medley

23

Charles Francis

Cowansville, Que.

Swimming

100m backstroke

24

Grace Gao

Calgary, Alta.

Badminton

Mixed doubles

25

Eric Gillis

Antigonish, N.S.

Athletics

Marathon

26

Nikola Girke

West Vancouver, B.C.

Sailing

Women’s rs-x windsurfing

27

Jasmin Glaesser

Coquitlam, B.C.

Cycling

Track

28

Thomas Gossland

Vancouver, B.C.

Swimming

4x100m freestyle relay

29

Brent Hayden

Vancouver, B.C.

Swimming

50m freestyle,100m freestyle, 4x100m freestyle relay

30

Émilie Heymans

Brossard, Que.

Diving

Women’s 3m, 3m synchro

31

Pierre-Luc Hinse

Gatineau, Que.

Table Tennis

Men’s singles, tean

32

Andre Ho

Richmond, B.C.

Table Tennis

Men’s singles, team

33

Stephanie Horner

Beaconsfield, Que.

Swimming

400m individual medley

34

Richard Hortness

Medicine Hat, Alta.

Swimming

4x100m freestyle relay

35

Francois Imbeau-Dulac

St-Lazarre, Que.

Diving

Men’s 3m

36

Barbara Jardin

Montreal, Que.

Swimming

200m freestyle, 4x200m freestyle relay

37

Kyle Jones

Oakville, Ont.

Triathlon

Men’s triathlon

38

Geoff Kabush

Comox, B.C.

Cycling

Mountain Bike

39

Savanah King

Vancouver, B.C.

Swimming

400m freestyle, 800m freestyle

40

Alexa Komarnycky

Etobicoke, Ont.

Swimming

800m freestyle

41

Audrey Lacroix

Montreal, Que.

Swimming

200m butterfly

42

Mike Leigh

Nanaimo, B.C.

Sailing

470

43

Michelle Li

Markham, Ont.

Badminton

Women’s singles and doubles

44

Hunter Lowden

North Vancouver, B.C.

Sailing

49er

45

Brittany MacLean

Etobicoke, Ont.

Swimming

400m freestyle, 4x200m freestyle relay

46

Heather MacLean

Etobicoke, Ont.

Swimming

4x100m freestyle relay

47

Martha McCabe

Toronto, Ont.

Swimming

200m breaststroke

48

Melanie McCann

Parkhill, Ont.

Modern Pentathlon

Women’s singles

49

Riley McCormick

Victoria, B.C.

Diving

Men’s 10m

50

Brent McMahon

Victoria, B.C.

Triathlon

Men’s triathlon

51

Sébastien Michaud

Quebec, Que.

Taekwondo

80kg

52

Erica Morningstar

Calgary, Alta.

Swimming

200m individual medley

53

Daniel Nestor

Toronto, Ont.

Tennis

Men’s doubles

54

Tobias Ng

Vancouver, B.C.

Badminton

Mixed doubles

55

Tobias Oriwol

Toronto, Ont.

Swimming

200m backstroke

56

Alec Page

Victoria, B.C.

Swimming

400m individual medley

57

Catharine Pendrel

Fredericton, N.B.

Cycling

Mountain Bike

58

Max Plaxton

Tofino, B.C.

Cycling

Mountain Bike

59

Victoria Poon

Montreal, Que.

Swimming

50m freestyle, 4x100m freestyle relay

60

Vasek Pospisil

Vancouver, B.C.

Tennis

Men’s doubles

61

Zachary Plavsic

Vancouver, B.C.

Sailing

Men’s rs-x windsurfing

62

Luke Ramsay

Vancouver, B.C.

Sailing

470

63

Milos Raonic

Thornhill, Ont.

Tennis

Men’s singles

64

Amanda Reason

Windsor, Ont.

Swimming

4x200m freestyle relay

65

Reuben Ross

St. Leonard, Que.

Diving

Men’s 3m synchro

66

Colin Russell

Burlington, Ont.

Swimming

4x100m freestyle relay

67

Sinead Russell

Burlington, Ont.

Swimming

100m backstroke, 200m backstroke

68

Katerine Savard

Quebec, Que.

Swimming

100m butterfly

69

Eric Sehn

Edmonton, Alta.

Diving

Men’s 10m

70

Karine Sergerie

Sainte-Catherine, Que.

Taekwondo

67kg

71

David Sharpe

Halifax, N.S.

Swimming

200m butterfly

72

Monique Sullivan

Calgary, Alta.

Cycling

Track

73

Kathy Tremblay

Montreal, Que.

Triathlon

Women’s triathlon

74

Jillian Tyler

Calgary, Alta.

Swimming

100m breaststroke

75

Donna Vakalis

Toronto, Ont.

Modern Pentathlon

Women’s singles

76

Tera Van Beilen

Oakville, Ont.

Swimming

100m breaststroke, 200m breaststroke

77

Joseph Veloce

St. Catharines, Ont.

Cycling

Track

78

Eugene Wang

Ottawa, Ont.

Table Tennis

Team

79

Simon Whitfield

Victoria, B.C.

Triathlon

Men’s triathlon

80

Tara Whitten

Toronto, Ont.

Cycling

Track

81

Julia Wilkinson

Stratford, Ont.

Swimming

100m backstroke, 100m freestyle, 4x100m freestyle relay and 200m individual medley

82

Blake Worsley

Victoria, B.C.

Swimming

200m freestyle

83

Aleksandra Wozniak

Blainville, Que.

Tennis

Women’s singles

84

David Wright

Montreal, Que.

Sailing

Men’s laser

85

Dylan Wykes

Kingston, Ont.

Athletics

Marathon

86

Mo Zhang

Ottawa, Ont.

Table Tennis

Women’s singles

-30-

Canadian Olympic Committee Media Office:                          
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Email : jalmeida@olympic.ca

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Email: dsoudas@olympic.ca

Guy Napert-Frenette, Communications
Cycling Canada Cyclisme
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Email: guynf@performancepr.ca

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