Lori-Ann Muenzer, cyclist (b 21 May 1966 in Toronto, ON). Lori-Ann Muenzer is one of Canada's most decorated cyclists, having won 13 national titles and 11 World Cup medals. At the 2004 Olympic Summer Games in Athens, at the age of 38, she became the first Canadian to win an Olympic gold medal in cycling. She won the 2004 Bobbie Rosenfeld Award as Canada’s female athlete of the year and has been inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.
Lori-Ann Muenzer’s first 10-speed was a "fixer-upper" given to her by her grandfather, and she has recalled racing it up and down the streets of her hometown of Edmonton. She began her career as an elite cyclist in 1993, but her early career was plagued by injury, which cost her a spot on the Commonwealth Games team in 1994. In 1999, she nearly ended her cycling career when she plunged off a 20-foot cliff while mountain biking.
After these setbacks, Muenzer's career began to flourish. She won several medals in international competition, including two silver and two bronze medals at the World Track Cycling Championships, and one silver and two bronze at the 1998 and 2002 Commonwealth Games. She made her Olympic debut for Canada at the 2000 Olympic Summer Games in Sydney, Australia, placing in the Top 10. In 2004, her goal of competing at Athens was realized when she defeated Tanya Dubnicoff in the 500 m event at the Olympic Trials, earning her a spot on the Canadian Olympic team. All the while, Muenzer balanced her cycling career with a position as a legal secretary in Edmonton.
At age 38, Lori-Ann Muenzer was the oldest cyclist in the Olympic field at Athens, publicly claiming that her age made her both stronger and wiser. After defeating Anna Meares of Australia, she was pitted against 21-year-old Russian Tamilla Abassova in the finals for the gold medal. Muenzer overtook Abassova late in the first race, and the two raced closely in the second at a speed of just more than 59 km/h, with Muenzer finishing first.
Although she began her athletic career later than most elite athletes, Lori-Ann Muenzer accumulated 13 National titles and 11 World Cup medals, becoming Canada's most decorated cyclist. In 2004, she won the Bobbie Rosenfeld Award as Canada’s female athlete of the year and was inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame. In 2005, she received the Tribute to Women of Distinction "Honourable Lois E. HOLE Award for Lifetime Achievement" from the YWCA. She was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2015.