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"Being outside is what makes me feel alive. Adventures are what bring the best out of you, especially with friends. I look at the clouds, sun, snow or rain falling, and I always have an idea to make the day shine no matter what. I’m inspired"


Can you tell us a bit about about yourself and your background? 

I was on cross country skis at two years old. Playing outside with my brother was what I loved when I was a child. By the age of 10 I started running track and cross country. I became competitive at the national level and kept running throughout college and university. At the age of 20 I got injured and decided to hang up my running shoes. I also took a year off from my studies and worked at the ski hill, in restaurants and at a golf course to keep myself busy.

At 21 I followed advice of friends and decided to try my first road race as a cyclist. Everything took off from there! From gold at the Canada Games in 1997, to gold at the Commonwealth Games in 1998. I was a medalist at Pan Am games, stood on podiums at road and cyclocross world cups, a grand tour winner, top 15th and road worlds and two Olympic Games.

I was lucky to have an amazing environment with a passionate coach, strong teammates and supportive parents and sponsors. In 2010 I became Robbi Weldon’s pilot on a tandem. Together we won world cups, world championship twice, world cup leaders and gold at the London Paralympic Games in 2012. I officially ended my professional cycling career after London.

Racing and training all those years for the same sport was something I would never change, and it was an experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life. I was ready for a change, and I wanted to do all kinds of sports!

I love training so I can be fit to say yes to all my friends’ requests; from adventures racing, skimo races and adventures, trail running races, gravel races and challenges and extreme triathlons (Canada man/woman).

Currently I am working at a cycling center organizing events and am running my own gravel event I started in 2012 (100B7.com) so I could share all my secret spots of our beautiful area with people.

We would love to hear about any of your recent or past achievements in the mountains and outdoors?

I spent all last winter exploring the mountains in BC. I raced a 500km gravel event with 8000m in 23hours and participated with Brazilian teammates at the Expedition Canada adventure race. I did my first ultra 110km in the mud of Gaspésie last June. After all those years of training for my dream of becoming an Olympian, I now keep pushing my limits as a woman in endurance sports.

What does life look like for you outside of your career as an athlete?

I ride a motorcycle and I organize my own gravel event which is in its 11th years this Sept! I have a lot of shoes and I love discovering new wines. I read the international news section in the newspaper every day since my time involved in politics.

In 2019 I was elected as a federal deputy at our Federal Parliament in Ottawa, proudly representing the Brome Missisquoi riding. After my short minority mandate of 2 years where I met, helped and worked for amazing people I decided I still had other challenges that I wanted to achieve.

Now I work part time at the new cycling center as an organizer so I can still work on my adventures! I'm registered for the Badlands.cc 800km Gravel event in September and plan to climb in the Himalayas in 2024. I do a lot of all kinds of skiing; backcountry, skimo (races), alpine and cross country. I am a trail runner, an adventure racer, an organizer and I love to help my community.

Tom first started climbing as a way of dealing with his fear of heights, but this quickly developed into enjoying it for its own sake and training regimes from a background in other sports came into play. Climbing extensively on the gritstone around Sheffield, Tom has picked off numerous hard and bold unclimbed lines in the Peak District.

A love for first ascents has also taken him around the UK and the world, with hard trad routes in Orco and Red Rocks to his name. With an appetite for suffering, a good sense of humour and endless enthusiasm, Tom has also pushed the boundaries closer to home with a string of creative challenges – some hard, some odd, but usually both.

Tom has also pushed climbing in unusual directions. After an injury forced Tom into avoiding crimps, he focused on developing crack climbing skills and eventually an offwidth obsession. After ticking everything in the UK and some of the hardest routes in Europe, there was only one place left to visit. A trip to the south-west of the US, the offwidth capital of the world, resulted in the first ascent of Century Crack (5.14b) – the hardest of its kind. From the widest of cracks, the obvious challenge was then the thinnest. After spending months in his now famous training basement, a trip to Squamish resulted in an ascent of Cobra Crack (5.14).

"I was born in South Africa and spent the following 20 years living in lots of different places due to my parents. I think the regular moving around gave me an appetite for change and ever since leaving school, I’ve never quite been satisfied with staying in one place for more than a few months.

In recent years I’ve specialised in trad and in particular, crack climbing. This has taken me from the depths of my basement in Sheffield (training on wooden cracks) to some of the world’s best hard cracks. My main passion lies in new routing and exploring new places, so as my climbing progresses I naturally look for first ascents and ones that include hard crack climbing."

Notable Ascents

  • Pura Pura (5.14c), Orco - first ascent

  •  Century Crack (5.14b), Canyonlands - first ascent

  • Cobra Crack (5.14b), Squamish

  • Dinas Crac (E9 7a), Dinas Rock - first ascent

  • Captain Invincible (E9 7a), Burbage North - third ascent

  • Pure Now (E9 6c), Millstone - first ascent

  • Appointment with Death (E9 6c), Wimberry - second ascent

  • Muir-Corazon (5.13b), El Capitan - free ascent

  • World record for most routes soloed in a day - 550

  • One Infinity(8b+/8A+), Sally-in-the-woods - first ascent

  • Master's Edge (E7 6b), Millstone - multiple birthday ascents in fancy dress