Nicola Wealth’s partnership with CAN Fund #150Women aligns two organizations with a commitment to superior performance and a mission to inspire excellence. Becoming a CAN Fund #150Women recipient helps ease the financial burden for a female athlete so she can focus on reaching her full potential. This week we spoke with track cyclist, Annie Foreman-Mackey.
Each week Nicola Wealth will be featuring a CAN Fund #150Women Recipient as they prepare to represent Canada on the world stage. We spoke with Annie about balancing medical school while training as a track cyclist for the games and she gives us insight into how to best pursue your passions.
Sport: Track Cycling
Hometown: Kingston, ON
Multiple CAN Fund #150Women Recipient
Annie first discovered her love for cycling at age nine after watching Simon Whitfield win gold at the 2000 Sydney Games. Shortly after she started competing in kids’ triathlons and as she grew up, continued to train for all three disciplines. She particularly excelled at swimming and competed at the varsity level for three years with McMaster University as a student-athlete.
After completing her degree in Health Sciences, Annie continued to cycle and raced in some road and mountain bike events. Ultimately, she was “drawn to the beauty of a well-ridden team pursuit” and transitioned into full-time cycling quite naturally. In 2016 she made her UCI World Championship debut winning bronze in the non-Olympic individual pursuit event.
Annie had an outstanding year in 2017. At the Canadian Track Cycling Championships, she won five medals – team pursuit gold, points race silver, madison silver, omnium bronze, and individual pursuit bronze! Annie’s success carried over in 2019 where she competed at the Pan American Championships winning team pursuit gold and individual pursuit silver.
Annie had planned on retiring after the 2020 Games to start med school that fall. When the Games were delayed until the summer of 2021, she was left to balance full-time school and full-time training for the year. Returning to school after a seven-year hiatus was difficult, especially while also trying to balance training for the Games, but Annie managed to make it work, squeezing in training sessions between classes and qualifying for Tokyo.
Annie will be competing in the team pursuit at the Games and is first scheduled to race on August 2nd at 2:50 am EST.
How have you managed to balance being a student and competing as a track cyclist at the same time?
It hasn’t always been pretty, and I definitely learned a lot over the past year in particular trying to find out what that right balance looks like. I made some mistakes during the first term as I was adjusting to being back in school as a full-time student as well as being a student that was mostly online. In terms of balance, I make a lot of to-do lists! The night before, I plan out my next day, so I hopefully don’t have too many surprises. What I’ve made mistakes with in the past, is not putting any wiggle room in my schedule. I quickly learned that I could not pack my day too full. I snuck in a lot of rides between classes, sometimes late at night, I attended classes in bike gear after getting home. My classmates sometimes noted that I would have helmet marks on my forehead when I got to class!
How has CAN Fund #150Women impacted your journey as a track cyclist?
It’s been so incredible and I’m so grateful to be a two-time recipient. CAN Fund #150Women gives me so much strength and empowerment knowing that I have all these women supporting my journey. There’s something so unique in that bond. It’s so special and it gives me a lot of motivation as I move forward in my training, going through the hard days in the final weeks before Tokyo. Knowing that I have that support and the financial means to do things right has been so critical. I am eternally grateful for the support I have received.
Best advice for someone following their passion?
Don’t be afraid to own your journey and take a path that may look different from someone else’s. I think it’s easy as an athlete to look at what everyone is doing and compare what you’re doing to what has worked for someone else. I think there is a lot to learn from listening to your body, your needs, and owning that process. I think this is something that I learned throughout my career, but something that I wish I had known earlier and allowed myself to trust my own judgement. However, that is part of the learning process, so maybe that process is what helped me get to where I am right now!
Follow Annie’s journey: @Formacannie Twitter.
WALK or RUN to support a female athlete!
CAN Fund #150Women Virtual BE EPIC Run – Sunday, July 25th
There is no registration fee instead we ask you to make a donation to CAN Fund #150Women!