Canadian Olympic gold medalist Lori-Ann Muenzer will make a public appearance Sunday as official spokesperson of the Canadian Cancer Society's Great Ride 'n' Stride in Springbank Park, London, Ontario.
Muenzer told the London Free Press that, like so many people, she has had family members affected by cancer, and so wanted to support the event. "My grandmother had breast cancer. I had a cousin we lost to leukemia," she said. "It was something I was definitely interested in doing."
The venue also has resonance for Muenzer, who raced on the road in Springbank Park before switching to track cycling in 1993.
After her track sprint victory at Athens - Canada's first Olympic cycling gold medal - Muenzer has gone from relative obscurity to a national hero in Canada, and says she finds herself being recognized even when she's trying to stay low-key. She told the Free Press of a recent incident where she was spotted in a coffee shop, despite being almost disguised in a wool sweater up to her chin and a hat pulled down low.
"I thought, 'This is great. I can blend in with everybody,'" said Muenzer. "This guy comes up to me and says, 'Are you Lori-Ann Muenzer, the cyclist?' I'm like, 'How did you figure that out?' I still shake my head."
The Great Ride 'n' Stride for Canadian Cancer Society starts at 1pm, Sunday April 24 at Springbank Park near Commissioners Road entrance in Byron. Lori-Ann Muenzer will autograph souvenir photos from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.