Cyclist Curt Harnett first competed for Canada internationally at the 1983 Pan American Games. Fittingly two years ago he was named Chef de Mission for the Toronto 2015 Canadian Pan American Team.
He has loved cycling since he first rode a bike without training wheels at the age of five. But in the beginning, his focus was on hockey. He was introduced to competitive cycling by his high school football coach (who just happened to be the President of the Thunder Bay Cycling Club) as a way of staying in shape for hockey during the offseason. It was during a tryout for an OHL team that Curt decided to pursue a full-time cycling career. Two years later he won Silver at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles!
The Match Sprint, a 750-metre, one-on-one cycling race commonly held on a 250-metre track, eventually became his specialty. He was the World Record holder in his event for 11 years, becoming the first man to break the elusive 10-second barrier for 200 metres in a time 9.865 seconds.
He won over 30 National Titles and represented Canada at four Olympic Games, bringing home three Olympic Medals (one Silver; two Bronze). He retired from cycling after his Bronze Medal at the 1996 Olympic Games. Curt was inducted into the Canadian Sport Hall of Fame in 2005 and the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame in 2006. He was the Assistant Chef de Mission for Team Canada at the 2011 Pan American Games.