Gordon Singleton, Canada’s 1st track cycling world champion, dies at 67

Former Canadian track cycling star Gordon Singleton has died. He was 67.

Cycling Canada confirmed on Monday he had been battling prostate cancer.

“We are incredibly saddened to learn of Gordon’s passing,” said Cycling Canada CEO Matthew Jeffries. “One of Canadian cycling’s greatest champions and most gracious ambassadors, Gordon was a trailblazer who inspired so many Canadian athletes who have followed in his footsteps.

“His accomplishments on the bike were legendary and perhaps surpassed only by his continued contributions, engagement and generosity as an active and valued member of the Canadian cycling community over the past 40 years. He will be dearly missed but never forgotten.”

The Niagara Falls, Ont., native was the first Canadian to ever claim a gold medal at the track cycling world championships in 1982, winning in the keirin.

He also held three world records, having set them all in a 24-hour span from October 9-10 in 1980. They came in the 200-metre flying start, 500 flying start and 1,000 standing start months after being named to Team Canada for the 1980 Olympics before Canada joined an American-led boycott of the Moscow Games that year.

Singleton also competed in the 1976 Olympics, finishing ninth in the 1,000 sprint. He went on to win gold in both the sprint and the 1,000 time trial at the 1979 Pan American Games.

Singleton, who was named to the Order of Canada in 1986, was also a gold medallist in the sprint and bronze medallist in the 1,000 time trial at the 1978 Commonwealth Games in Edmonton.

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“With the passing of Gordon Singleton, Canada and the sport of cycling have lost one of the true giants,” added Mark Collins, chair of Cycling Canada’s board of directors. “Seeing him flying around the track was electrifying at a formative time for the sport of cycling in Canada; Gordon will be truly missed.

“An Olympian, a world champion, and a world-record holder, he was a pioneer whose shoulders our team will forever stand on whenever we pull the maple leaf jersey on and ride for Canada.”

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