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Themes - Sport

Marie-Hélène Prémont

Photograph of Marie-Hélène Prémont

(1977- )

Mountain Biking

Source


A keen mountain biker, Marie-Hélène Prémont is from Château-Richer, Quebec, and has been a member of the national team since 2000. Born on October 24, 1977, Marie-Hélène became interested in this sport when she was a volunteer at the World Cup in Mont-Sainte-Anne during the 1992-1993 season. Her boyfriend, who was already a participant in the circuit, encouraged her interest in mountain bike racing. Everything fell into place at the 1996 Coupe du Québec in Mont-Sainte-Anne. At that time, Prémont was looking for a discipline that would allow her to practice her sport as often as possible during the year; mountain biking fit the bill.

She began competing as a cyclist in 1995 in the junior elite category. She made her debut on the world circuit in 1998, during the North American stages. In 2000, she placed 30th worldwide. Having discovered a gift for this sport, she achieved 21st place in 2001. Michel LeBlanc, a trainer for the Quebec mountain biking team since 1999, watched her from a distance at the start of her racing career. Shortly afterwards, he became her personal trainer and she began to achieve excellent results.

At the beginning of her career, she was a member of Team Oryx (Quebec). In addition to participating in five stages of the World Cup, Marie-Hélène represented Canada at the Commonwealth Games, in Manchester, Great Britain, in late July 2002, and at the World Championships in Kaprun, Austria, in late August of that year.

Major Achievements

2003

  • Quebec and Canadian Cross-country Champion and Cyclist of the Year
  • 3 first-place finishes in the Canada Cup (Bromont, Tremblant, Calgary)
  • ranked 4th worldwide in 2003
  • 5th in the World Championship

2004

  • 2nd place in the 3rd World Cup, Fort William (GB)
  • 2nd place in the 5th World Cup, Mont-Sainte-Anne (CAN)
  • 1st place in the 2004 Canadian National Championship (CAN)
  • 4th general ranking at the World Championship
  • silver medallist at the Olympic Games in Athens (GRE)
  • 2nd place in the 7th World Cup, Livigno (ITA)
  • 2nd in World Cup series overall

2005

  • 1st place in the World Cup, Mont-Sainte-Anne (CAN)
  • 1st place in the World Cup, Spa Francorchamps (BEL)
  • ranked 3rd worldwide in 2005
  • 2nd place in the World Cup, Angel Fire Resort (USA)
  • 1st place in the Tim Hortons Canadian National Mountain Biking Championships
  • 3rd place in the World Cup, Willingen (RFA)
  • 4th place in the general ranking at the World Championship
  • won the Athlete of the Year Award at the Quebec/Chaudière-Appalaches Gala

2006

  • 1st place at the Commonwealth Games, Melbourne (AUS)
  • 1st place at the World Cup, Mont-Sainte-Anne (CAN)
  • 3rd place at the World Championship, Schladming (AT)
  • 1st place in the Tim Horton's Canadian National Mountain Biking Championships
  • 2nd place in the World Cup series overall

When asked if she has an idol in the cycling world, she replies that the greatest person in the sport is Pierre Harvey, a cross-country skier from Quebec, because of all his accomplishments, but also for his ability to maintain his integrity in the face of success.

While pursuing her cycling career, Marie-Hélène also obtained a degree in kinesiology from Laval University. After completing her university education in four years, she enrolled in a second bachelor's degree program in 2004, this time in pharmacy. Her life involves other pursuits that are as important to her as cycling, such as her social life, her studies and other sports. She lent her name to the Fondation Marie-Hélène Prémont, of which she is a beneficiary. The organization's mission is: "to organize, administer and maintain funds for the benefit of athletes involved in amateur sports or high-performance sport, as well as to undertake and promote any relevant project, activity or initiative to achieve this purpose." She is also very active on behalf of youth and visits schools regularly to encourage children to participate in sports and combat sedentary lifestyles.

Marie-Hélène Prémont's ultimate goal is to stand on the podium at the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008. She is training full out to make this dream a reality.

Resources

Gilbert, Manon. "Coupe du monde de vélo de montagne: Marie-Hélène Prémont, de bénévole à concurrente." Radio-Canada, Sports. www.radio-canada.ca/sportsamateurs/cyclisme/nouvelles/ 200206/30/001-premont.asp
(accessed June 3, 2008). (disponible en français seulement)

Gilbert, Manon. "Coupe du monde de vélo de montagne: Prémont réalise la course de sa vie." Radio-Canada, Sports. www.radio-canada.ca/sportsamateurs/cyclisme/nouvelles/ 200206/30/002-steannecross.asp
(accessed June 3, 2008). (disponible en français seulement)

"Marie-Hélène Prémont." Roulez gagnants ! www.roulezgagnants.net/athlete/2005/premont-MH.htm
(accessed June 3, 2008). (disponible en français seulement)

Morneau, Gilles. "Portrait: Marie-Hélène Prémont." Vélo Mag. Vol. 25, No. 1 (Spring 2004), p. 58-60.

"Marie-Hélène Prémont: Mountain Bike." Canadian Cycling Association. www.canadian-cycling.com/cca/nat_team/members/mtb/ prement_bio.shtml
(accessed June 3, 2008).

"Le vélo de montagne." Roulez gagnants ! www.roulezgagnants.net/Disciplines/Montagne.htm
(accessed June 3, 2008). (disponible en français seulement)

Walter, Sandra. "Quebec's Off-road Rocket Marie-Hélène Prémont." Pedal. Vol. 18 (May 2, 2004), p. 20-21.

Wolter, Karine. "Marie-Hélène Prémont: étoile filante." Espaces- plein air, voyages et découvertes www.espaces.qc.ca/espaces/html/rencontres/rencontres16.shtml
(accessed June 3, 2008). (disponible en français seulement)

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