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Canada Announces Olympic Team for Paris 2024

Jun 25, 2024
by Sarah Moore  
Isabella Holmgren pulled away and never looked back.
Isabella Holmgren won the Nove Mesto U23 World Cup and the Val di Sole U23 World Cup.


Cycling Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee have announced the roster of Team Canada cycling athletes nominated to compete at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Canada was ranked 11th in the men's nation standings and 12th in the women's and so received one rider in each category for Paris 2024.

The two mountain bike athletes will be Isabella and Gunnar Holmgren of Orillia, Ontario.

Isabella Holmgren is the youngest cycling athlete on the Paris 2024 Canadian Olympic Team. The 19-year-old is a two-time world junior champion, having won gold in mountain bike and cyclocross in 2023. This year, she won two U23 World Cup gold medals in mountain bike at Nove Mesto and Val di Sole.

Her older brother Gunnar Holmgren will also be making his Olympic debut this summer. He was Team Canada's first gold medallist at the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games. Gunnar secured his spot on Team Canada for Paris 2024 with his eighth-place finish at the UCI Elite World Cup in Nové Město na Moravě, Czechia in late May, posting one of Canada’s best UCI World Cup results in men’s mountain bike since 2019.

bigquotesI'm very proud to soon become an Olympian, and being selected alongside my sister makes it even more special. I’m building to my peak form over the next six weeks and I’m excited to get out there and honor the maple leaf.Gunnar Holmgren


Gunnar Holmgren had on hell of a race taking home his best result yet with an eighth place finish.
Gunnar Holmgren took home his best Elite World Cup result ever in Nove Mesto with an 8th place.


Mountain Bike:
Isabella Holmgren (Orillia, Ont.)
Gunnar Holmgren (Orillia, Ont.)

BMX Racing:
Molly Simpson (Red Deer, Alta.)

Road:
Olivia Baril (Rouyn-Noranda, Que.)
Derek Gee (Ottawa, Ont.)
Alison Jackson (Vermilion, Alta.)
Michael Woods (Ottawa, Ont.)

Track (Endurance):
Erin Attwell (Victoria, B.C.)
Dylan Bibic (Mississauga, Ont.)
Ariane Bonhomme (Gatineau, Que.)
Maggie Coles-Lyster (Maple Ridge, B.C.)
Michael Foley (Milton, Ont.)
Mathias Guillemette (Trois-Rivières, Que.)
Carson Mattern (Ancaster, Ont.)
Sarah Van Dam (Victoria, B.C.)

Track (Sprint):
Lauriane Genest (Levis, Que.)
James Hedgcock (Ancaster, Ont.)
Kelsey Mitchell (Sherwood Park, Alta.)
Sarah Orban (Calgary, Alta.)
Tyler Rorke (Baden, Ont.)
Nick Wammes (Bothwell, Ont.)


We have now officially heard who the team for France, Switzerland, the United States, and Great Britain.

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49 Comments
  • 17 4
 Weird system where you don't need to compete at Elite levels to qualify for Elite / Olympic competition. U23's don't have the same experience as Elite competitors in Elite events so why are U23's bumping Elite riders out of an Olympic spot? Strange science.
  • 1 0
 Indeed. It seems to be an elaborate process to select the rider. From what I saw, there was a requirement for a top 5 in a non European XCO world cup, or a Top 12 in a European XCO. On the Women's side no one met those requirements. Although Jenn Jackson did give a mighty effort. Tricky to know how the decision went from there. I expect Isabella's success played a huge role, along with the desire to develop her as an athlete for the future.
  • 3 1
 I agree, I think u23 points or the system should take into account it's not an elite field, u23 riders getting Olympic spots over elite riders seems super unfair. I just saw Reily Amos is ranked #2 for mtb world rankings, while he's been dominating, it's not elite that he is competing in.
  • 4 0
 @avg-roadie: I think it's also worth noting that U23 results are taken from a pool of athletes that range a total of 4 years whereas Elite results are taken from a pool of athletes that could be 20+ years from the youngest to oldest. It just isn't the same test pool. Stoked these athletes achieved their life-long dreams but these criteria need to be reassessed.
  • 3 0
 @jmsjns:
> I expect Isabella's success played a huge role, along with the desire to develop her as an athlete for the future.

These played no roll in the decision. Unfortunately, Jenn just did not meet any of the non-discretionary Cycling Canada nomination criteria. If Isabella had not qualified, it would have been Emily Johnston selected (still not Jenn).
  • 3 2
 There's no under 23 category in the Olympics, why should athletes under 23 not be allowed to compete?
  • 2 2
 @inthenude: not saying that, saying u23 qualifying over elite racers based on results in different classes doesn't make sense. U23 as a whole, is easier to do well than in the elite field. It's almost like an expert age group person who wins everything still gets points over a full pro, of course it's closer than that but still. Not apples to apples for qualifications.
  • 3 0
 @avg-roadie: Of course elite is tougher. That's why the criteria was set to require a notably higher finish in U23 versus the cut line for hitting qualification in the elite events.
  • 2 1
 Many people are finding the fact that MSA didn't count for as many points as a European world Cup silly. MSA field was ELITE and Jenn's placing there should've counted for more than it did.

The track endurance politics also was enough to turn away Ruby West who should've been on this team. Some riders just get get more attention from the National governing body, despite others scoring bigger results.

Cycling Canada is a little broke/bias.
  • 2 0
 FYI. USA did the same by picking Riley Amos based on his U23 results. Good choice in my opinion as you need to win in the U23.
  • 1 0
 @geoffreymcgill: If Isabella had to compete against the same talent, and the same distance, in the Elite races as Jenn, would she have finished in the top 12? Where did the top 12 # come from?? Why is that a limit? Has there been any head to head competition to decide who goes?

All the best to the U23's competing at the Olympics. I hope it's a good experience for all!
  • 2 0
 @daverudnicki: Riley Amos is absolutely ripping and the second-best choice for USA behind Blevins. He did beat Blevins at Pan Ams, but I would be impressed if he top 10 every elite race this year like he has won every u23. But if Bjorn got the spot over Blevins (big fan of Bjorn as well), I don't think that would be fair.
  • 1 0
 @paolocolletti: I saw her post about this. Do you have more information about what happened? I don't know much about track but i'd like to understand what is happening
  • 4 0
 @Glidestone: Selection criteria is written to give the best probability of selecting the fastest athlete. In Canada’s case the criteria was written by the national coach, Catharine Pendrel, and then approved by a committee that contains an athlete representative. The athlete representative was Jen.


Historically the top u23s transition really well to Elite. Puck, Jenny, Kate, Jolanda, Pauline, Bresette, Loana all won in their first season racing elite. And none of them dominated u23 races like Bella does.
  • 3 0
 @Glidestone:
> If Isabella had to compete against the same talent, and the same distance, in the Elite races as Jenn, would she have finished in the top 12?

IMHO, Isabella is definitely capable of a Top 12 Elite World Cup finish... today.

Either way, Isabella was the highest qualifying Female XCO athlete in Canada. Emily Johnston (also a U23) is the second highest. If for some reason Isabella cannot attend the Summer Games, then my guess is Emily Johnston will be the alternate.

> Where did the top 12 # come from?? Why is that a limit?

The Top 12 result was the decision of Cycling Canada for their nomination criteria. The nomination criteria is as follows:

1. Top 5 finisher in the Elite XCO at the 2023 World Championships or a UCI World Cup.
2. Top 12 finisher in the Elite XCO at the 2023 World Championships or an Elite World Cup in Europe.
3. Top 3 finisher in the U23 XCO at the 2023 World Championships or a UCI World Cup in Europe.
4. Top 20 finisher in the Elite XCO at the 2023 UCI World Championships or at a UCI World Cup in Europe.

Isabella met criteria #3. So did Emily Johnston, but with her 1st place result in Nové Město, Isabella "out qualified" Emily. Unfortunately, Jenn did not meet any of the nomination criteria as required by Cycling Canada.

If interested, a copy of the "CYCLING INTERNAL NOMINATION POLICY FOR THE 2024 OLYMPIC GAMES" is available at the following link:

www.cyclismecanada.ca/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/2024-02-14-Cycling-Paris-OG-INP.pdf

> Has there been any head to head competition to decide who goes?

Not between Jenn and Isabella, although that was not a requirement of the Cycling Canada nomination criteria.

Hope this helps.
  • 5 2
 Hell yeah! This selection has the potential be a real sleeper team and bag some surprise medals. Canada is still an underdog outside of gravity riding, but we have some real killers coming into Paris. Olympics are well-known to shake up the usual dominance order at times.

The Holmgren siblings are having a pretty killer year with Gunaar breaking into the top 10 in Nove Mesto and Isabella becoming 23" CX world champ and going 1-2 with her sister Ava (An INSANE feat from a non European). Bella is still a junior, but it'll be great for her development to race with the elites.

'Berta gal Molly Simpson is also wicked fast, 6th in the world for BMX and the Pan Am Silver medalist. In a BMX big final, anything can happen. I'll be watching for sure. Big dark horse for a medal IMO, and maybe our best chnace at a podium.

Derek Gee had a couple of second place finishes last year at the Giro and came third overall with a stage win at the Criterium Dauphine beating some serious top 10 in the world guys like Primoz Roglic.

Dylan Bibic is young, but he was the Track Scratch World Champion last year and Gee's teammate on Israel Premier Tech. Has the legs to do some serious damage on a good day.

The future is bright! Go make us proud!
  • 5 0
 What's with the vast number of track riders?
  • 2 0
 team sprint and team pursuit
  • 9 1
 Lots of track events at the Olympics. It's weird how many sports are Olympic sports despite not having a lot of worldwide participation. They are Olympic anachronisms.
  • 3 0
 @Fill-Freakin: How many people go out for a weekend of shot putting or discus? The olympics specialize in niche sports.
  • 8 0
 @Fill-Freakin: like Dressage? Rich-people horse dancing - and the horse does all the work!
  • 2 1
 @Kiltymac: difference between niche and irrelevant. Track & Field events are both historical and very accessible. We don't need made up things like synchronized diving or anything where the annual world championships are a bigger deal than the olympics. While we're at it, let's drop anything that's judged - even the fun to watch events. Oh, and move it back to a permanent facility - in Greece.

I've solved the olympics; you're all welcome!
  • 2 0
 as @gavth said team sprint requires 3 riders for female and male and they will also do individuals sprint events like match sprint and Keirin. Team pursuit on the endurance side requires 4 riders for female and male and some of them will do the ominium and a duo will do the Madison.
  • 2 0
 @Fill-Freakin: Gotta say track events are exciting to watch.
  • 1 0
 @plyawn: tell me you've never done dressage without telling me you've never done dressage. Want to see extreme sports? Watch the cross country in the 3 day event.
  • 4 0
 Their parents must be proud!
  • 1 0
 3 of the 5 kids are professional bikers!
  • 2 0
 Maggie Coles Lyster is my little cousin and I’m f*ckin pumped!
  • 5 4
 Nice family vacation for the Holmgrens. They are both excellent athletes but I can't help but feel Cycling Canada has done a disservice to Jenn Jackson.
  • 2 0
 How so? She had a chance at a spot but faded out in the later laps.
  • 2 1
 @tunnel-vision: There is a difference about competing against elites and competing against U23. Isabella is for sure and talent though.
  • 2 1
 @tunnel-vision: her MSA performance last fall was nothing to ignore either though. That event should have counted like Euro world cups.
  • 4 1
 @MDW83: I agree. I don't think anyone is questioning that Isabella is a rising star, but the selection criteria seems to have been off is the theme I think.
  • 3 0
 Molly Simpson is 100% a medal contender. Can't wait to watch her races.
  • 1 0
 Jen Jackson should be racing xc at the Olympics. She's been Canada's top female xc racer for the last 2 seasons.
  • 1 0
 I hear Nick Johnston made the team! Go Canada!!!
  • 1 0
 Go team!
  • 1 3
 Are the Holmgrens Euros?
  • 2 0
 They are Canadian.
  • 8 0
 They are Holm-grown.
  • 3 1
 Why? Because they have European origin names? Try looking through a phone directory of Vancouver or Toronto… not everyone is named “Smith” or “Mackenzie”.
  • 3 0
 funny how a Canadian was first corrected by an American
  • 4 0
 @MB3: For what it's worth, "Smith" and "Mackenzie" are also names of European origin.
  • 3 0
 @MB3: you literally can’t get more Scottish than Mackenzie, unless you spell it properly with an uppercase K.
  • 1 0
 @BrianColes: I was thinking of Bob and Doug of “Strange Brew” and SCTV. Gen X’ers would have gotten the joke. Wink
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