Canadian Cyclist


September 2/22 13:43 pm - Stefan Ritter Photo Essay: A Coach's Story - Alex Ongaro

Posted by Editoress on 09/2/22

Earlier this year, we published a photo essay by former national team member Stefan Ritter, who is developing his skills (and future career) as a photographer [see A Sprinter's Intensity - Photo Essay by Stefan Ritter]. Stefan has kindly allowed us to publish his next project; an essay about his former coach, Alex Ongaro.

This photo essay tells the story of Alex Ongaro as the head coach of the Argyll Velodrome Racing Association in the daily training environment at the velodrome here in Edmonton. With a track cycling career consisting of seven years on the Canadian National Cycling Team, a Silver medal at the 1986 Commonwealth Games and a Final at the 1984 Olympics, Alex is a prominent coach for track cycling talent development here in Canada. Going behind the scenes in training and showing the engagement between the coach and the athletes, these photographs illustrate the trust and connection that is created and nurtured between the two. This serves to demonstrate two foundational elements of a successful coach-athlete relationship.

My Unique Perspective
I am telling this story as a former athlete of Alex's, as someone who has had the privilege of receiving coaching and mentorship from him.

This essay is for anyone sitting in the stands on race day who gets to see the final product of all the work that has been put in by both the coach and athlete, but who doesn't get to see the process and the work behind it all on a day to day basis in training.

The purpose of this work is to not only provide a window into the daily training environment, but to also to show the side of coaching that is not often seen from the outside. To show that coaches are not just about prescribing training plans for that specific sport, but that they are also about creating connection and providing mentorship for not just their sport, but for the bigger picture, for life itself.


These are just a selection. Go to the full gallery






Go to the full gallery




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