On the last day of the Tokyo Olympics, Canadian cyclist Kelsey Mitchell took home a gold medal in the women’s sprint. The 27-year-old is the second Canadian ever to win an Olympic gold medal in cycling—the first was Lori-Ann Muenzer in 2004, also in the women’s sprint.
One of the first people to hug Mitchell when she finished her race was her teammate and friend Lauriane Genest. Though Mitchell beat Genest in the quarterfinals, there were no hard feelings and Genest brought home a medal herself, a bronze in the keirin.
Adam van Koeverden, the MP for Milton On. (an Olympic gold medalist himself in sprint kayak), Tweeted his support for Mitchell. The Canadian track team trains at the Mattamy National Cycling Centre in Milton.
2015: Milton gets a Velodrome
2016: Kelsey Mitchell tries cycling
2021: Kelsey wins Olympic Gold!!
— Adam van Koeverden (@vankayak) August 8, 2021
Mitchell’s partner Hugo Barrette was able to congratulate her in person, as he also raced for Canada on the track. The day before the women’s sprint final, Barrette’s Olympics were cut short in a dramatic crash, but the cyclist seemed in high spirits watching Mitchell bring home the gold.
Olympic relationships ❤️
Cyclist Hugo Barrette cheering girlfriend Kelsey Mitchell onto gold in the women's sprint is something else 🥺 pic.twitter.com/T53QC0J0EP
— CBC Olympics (@CBCOlympics) August 8, 2021
Mitchell’s hometown of Sherwood Park, AB. is just outside of Edmonton, where many locals stayed up to watch her race.
— City of Edmonton (@CityofEdmonton) August 8, 2021
And in Toronto, Mayor John Tory sent his congratulations to Mitchell and announced that the Toronto sign would be changed to gold in honour of her win.
Cycling Canada posted a shot of Mitchell with her gold medal.
“Someone needs to sign this girl up for a hair commercial,” joked retired Canadian cyclist Alex Stieda, referencing Olympic medallist Curt Harnett’s Pert Plus commercials from the 1990s.