Lucia Stafford made her international debut at the 2016 U20 World Athletics Championships after winning the national junior title in the 1500m. The next year she won 1500m gold at the Junior Pan American Championships. In May 2021, Stafford ran a personal best 4:05.30 in the 1500m. She went on to win silver at the Canadian Olympic Trials and qualified for Tokyo 2020 in the same event as older sister Gabriela DeBues-Stafford.
In her Olympic debut, the younger Stafford ran a personal best time of 4:03.52 in the first round to advance to the 1500m semifinal. There she lowered her personal best to 4:02.12 but came up just short of joining her sister in the final.
Stafford ran collegiately for the University of Toronto. In 2017 she won three U SPORTS titles (1000m, 4x400m and 4x800m relays) and finished second to her sister in the 1500m. Stafford was named the Female Performer of the Meet at the U SPORTS Championships. In 2018 she won three OUA titles (1000m, 1500m and 4x800m relay) but came second in both the 1000m and 1500m at the national championships. Stafford was named the winner of the Dr. Wendy Jerome Trophy as the OUA female MVP. A stress fracture in her left foot kept her sidelined for two months of the spring 2019 track season, but she returned healthy in 2020 and won double gold at the U SPORTS Championships in the 1000m and 1500m.
As a member of the Varsity Blues cross country team, Stafford was the 2016 U SPORTS Female Rookie of the Year and a three-time first-team All-Canadian. She won the national title in 2019 and was named the U SPORTS cross country Female Athlete of the Year. While at U of T, Stafford represented Canada at the Naples 2019 FISU Universiade where she earned a pair of fifth-place finishes in the 1500m and 4x400m relay.
Stafford was diagnosed with Grave’s Disease while in high school, which can cause her body to feel exhausted and can flare up at any time. In November 2019 she had her thyroid removed as a more reliable and permanent solution.
A Little More About Lucia
Getting into the Sport: Joined her school cross country team in grade four and started running at the club level in grade eight… Grew up doing Irish dancing which proved to be a great base for track and cross country… Outside Interests: Working on a Civil Engineering degree at the University of Toronto… Would like to pursue a career as an architect or urban planner, something in the realm of civil and environmental engineering… Loves the arts, paints, sings, plays guitar… Enjoys riding her bike, hiking, swimming, skating, skiing, rock climbing or taking camping trips… Odds and Ends: Father, James Stafford, represented Canada at four World Cross Country Championships… Favourite motto: “Respect all, fear none”… Likes to have pasta the night before a race… Likes to have a trademark part of her appearance so that she stands out, whether it is with a bow in her hair, a scrunchy, or braids…
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Notable International Results
Olympic Games: 2020 - 13th (1500m)
FISU Universiade: 2019 - 5th (1500m), 5th (4x400m relay)
World Athletics Championships (junior): 2016 - 13th (1500m)
Pan American Championships (junior): 2017 - GOLD (1500m)