Canadian Cyclist


October 4/11 9:26 am - Olympic Bobsleigh Gold Medalist to Try for Canadian Track Squad

Posted by Editoress on 10/4/11

Heather Moyse, an Olympic gold medalist in the bobsleigh at the 2010 Games in Vancouver, announced this morning that she will attempt to make the Canadian track team, with a view to competing in the 2012 London Games. Although the press announcement states that she will be trying out for the Sprint, without question, one of the goals could be the women's Team Pursuit, given the strong possibility that Tara Whitten will restrict her focus to the Time Trial on the road and the Omnium on the track.

Moyse and her team have made a concerted media push with the announcement this morning - first, going on CTV's Canada AM to announce the endeavour, than sending out a press release and launching a new website. At the same time, Moyse announced the signing of a sponsor - PEI Potatoes, from her home province of Prince Edward Island. This would actually be Moyse's third national team, since she competed with Rugby Canada before moving to bobsleigh.

The link to the Canada AM announcement can be viewed Here.

The full text of the release:

One of the nation's most well rounded amateur sport athletes, Heather Moyse, of Summerside, P.E.I, will embark on a pursuit of excellence to represent Canada at the elite level in a third sport.

Forced to take a one-year hiatus from bobsleigh with a nagging ankle injury preventing her from sprinting with the power and explosiveness that propelled her to the top of the Olympic podium in 2010, Moyse announced she will challenge herself in track cycling.

"I am excited to test myself in another power and speed sport, but this will be a much more difficult transition for me than rugby or bobsleigh," said Moyse. "I've quickly discovered track cycling is an incredibly technical sport, and it will take a considerably longer period of time to acquire the necessary skills to compete at the highest level. That said, it is a challenge I'm going to fully embrace and I am very much looking forward to taking it on."

Moyse was first introduced to cycling by a friend while rehabbing her ankle injury in the fall of 2010. Moyse connected with a local cycling coach last spring after realizing sprint cycling would be a way to maintain her power, strength and speed without impacting her ankle. After gaining familiarity on a road bike in June, the powerful Canuck researched the sport in greater detail which included gaining more information from multiple summer and winter Olympic medallist, Clara Hughes, who directed Moyse to National Team coach, Tanya Dubnicoff.

After evaluating Moyse's power output on the bike, Dubnicoff invited the 33-year-old to observe the Track Cycling National Championships in Bromont, Que., and to a training camp in Pennsylvania in mid-August where she got on the track for the first time. Moyse spent nearly two weeks in September training with the Canadian Cycling Team at a velodrome in Los Angeles.

"After seeing Heather in Bromont, I was convinced she had the strength to be a competitive cyclist, but cycling is not all just about strength," said Dubnicoff. "Learning a new sport can be time-consuming and frustrating. With her background not being in cycling, getting the technique down will be Heather's biggest challenge. But Heather is a world-class athlete with exceptional determination and dedication towards pursuing her goals. I lookforward to helping her develop into an elite sprint cyclist."

Switching sports is nothing new to Moyse, who is a true model of passion and dedication to sport and life.

Moyse was recruited to the Canadian Bobsleigh Team in August 2005 from the National Senior Women's Rugby Team where she was the leading point-scorer in tries while representing Canada at the highest level in the sport. Moyse competed in the 2006 and 2010 World Cups in rugby, immediately following her Olympic triumph in bobsleigh. Moyse was the only Canadian selected to the All-Star squad at the World Cup in 2006 event.

An exceptional academic who achieved a Masters in Occupational Therapy, Moyse's bobsleigh career has been equally stunning. In her first season with pilot Helen Upperton, Moyse finished second overall in the World Cup circuit with one gold, two silvers, one bronze, and set push-start records on five international tracks. The Canadian duo finished in fourth place at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, where they set another push-start record. In February of 2010, Moyse teamed up with Calgary-based pilot Kaillie Humphries at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver-Whistler after setting start and track records around the world. The two powerful Canucks were in first place through all four heats, breaking the start record twice and the track record three times on their way to winning Canada's first-ever women's bobsleigh Olympic gold medal.

"Yes this will be much more difficult, but I thrive off of challenges and being able to push myself in sport, and I want to see how well I can do in this sport," said Moyse. "This will be a great break from bobsleigh that will allow me to maintain my fitness. It is a new world for me and I'm looking forward to it."

Moyse received a huge boost of support while launching the long journey to the top of the cycling world. Never losing site of her roots while representing Canada in multiple sports, Moyse also announced she will be partnering with Prince Edward Island Potatoes who will put their name on Moyse's bike in her pursuit of excellence on the track. With a goal of encouraging a healthier and more active lifestyle, Moyse will promote the awareness of PEI Potatoes and the value of potatoes as part of a nutritious and balanced diet.

"We believe Heather Moyse truly exemplifies our brand. We are from the smallest province, but our potato growers share a commitment to excellence similar to Heather that allows us to make an impact internationally," said Kendra Mills, Marketing Director, Prince Edward Island Potato Board. "The blood, sweat, heart, soul, pride, work ethic and passion of Island potato farmers is what makes this industry turn, and it is these same characteristics that have made Heather a role model both on and off the playing field that all Canadians should aspire to be. We look forward to having Heather represent PEI Potatoes, and helping her achieve excellence in her new journey."

The partnership marks the first major sponsorship for Moyse since standing on the podium at the Whistler Sliding Centre in 2010.

"Travelling around the world and competing for my country, I have never lost sight of my roots and who I am," said Moyse. "It is extremely gratifying for an athlete to know they have their Island, or home province, and its biggest industry behind them. PEI Potatoes and I share similar objectives, and I look forward to having them along forthis new journey with me. We are going to set big goals and achieve excellence together."

Canada's track cycling team carries a maximum training base squad of 15 athletes for optimal training in Los Angeles. Moyse will attempt to qualify for the team in October by meeting the appropriate standards. Once qualifying for the training group, Dubnicoff will work with Moyse to develop a schedule to begin competitions.


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