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Olympian Annie Foreman-Mackey retires from cycling

She won the bronze at the worlds

Malgorzata Wojtyra Rebecca Wiasak Annie Foreman-Mackey

Kingston, Ontario’s Annie Foreman-Mackey is retiring from cycling. The track rider won the bronze medal in the women’s individual pursuit event at the 2016 UCI Track Cycling World Championships and later qualified to represent Canada at the 2020 Summer Olympics.

In a statement, she said, “with a brimming heart and immense gratitude, I can announce my formal retirement from cycling. It has taken me a few months after stepping off my bike after our final ride in Tokyo to take stock, reflect, and reset as I dive into the next chapter. I am choosing to look back on these wild years of high-performance sport not by evaluating the medals and races that were or were not won, but rather by remembering the people with whom I shared space, the places where I travelled, and the lessons I learned along the way.”

She said that as a developing athlete, she struggled with my athletic identity and questions about the role sport should play in society. Over time, she grew to believe in sport’s ability to push the limits of possibility and help inspire humanity to see that we are capable of more than we think possible. She was encouraged to become a “student of my sport” early in my career and held this close as she sought to embody a beginner’s mindset even in my final days. More than students of the sport, she’d now describe athletes as students of the human body, the human psyche, and the human heart.

“When I toed the line at my first road race in Hamilton, Ontario, little did I know of the journey that would ensue, taking me across the world, towards peaks of exhilaration and into depths that I hadn’t imagined. From muddy cobbles in Europe to the beauty and calm flow of a well-executed team pursuit, shaky legs and sweaty palms on the start line, and that final big breath as the countdown clock approaches zero,” Foreman-Mackey said. “Tears of joy, exhaustion, gratitude, and disappointment shared after finish lines, lying in grassy fields, on hot pavement, in icy vans, or unable to walk off the track after a race. These moments are what kept me coming back for more.

“As I grew through my ’20s, cycling was a constant companion, challenging me to find my voice, reexamine my motivations, explore the inner workings of my mind, and contribute to something much more significant than myself and my aspirations. I drew strength from those who believed in me and found motivation from those who didn’t. Competing for Canada at World Cups, World Championships, and at an Olympic Games felt like a big, audacious, far-fetched goal that, for a long time, I didn’t believe possible,” the Olympian said. “But slowly and diligently, and with the help of so many incredible people who had confidence in me even when I didn’t, I chipped away at the small steps, deconstructed some of my internal hurdles and made it a reality.”

She concluded by saying that “the privilege of wearing the maple leaf on my back never grew old. Not one to actively seek out the limelight, I found pleasure in my secret quest to leave the cycling world better than when I entered, and I can only hope that I achieved this final goal in some small way. I am motivated to continue drawing from my experiences to help shape my ability to care for patients as I move towards my career as a physician and navigate a new future. Though sport will continue to be a fundamental part of my life, I am excited to see my relationship evolve as I find new ways to integrate meditation in motion into future routines and goals.”