Marie-Hélène Prémont is a rider for the Rocky Mountain Bicycles team. She is a 6 time Canadian Champion, an Olympic silver medalist, a Commonwealth Games gold medalist and a regular medal winner on the UCI World Cup mountain bike cross country circuit. She's one of the fastest woman XC mountain bike racers in the world.
Marie began competitive mountain biking as a teen in 1995 after working as a volunteer at the World Cup mountain bike races at Mont Sainte Anne. Racing looked like something that would be fun and challenging in the summer time. She was happy to try a sport where she could stay warm when she was competing, as she was a member of the National Snowboard team when she began mountain bike racing. When she ran out of time to juggle university as well as competitive snowboarding and mountain bike racing, it was the combination of university and mountain bike racing that won. That decision set Marie on a path that would lead her to become one of the top Elite Women mountain bike racers in the world.
Marie-Hélène has become well known for her megawatt smile and friendly personality as much as for her steely determination as a competitor. Marie's consistent top 10 finishes in the past 8 years of World Cup racing have often been dramatic finishes too.
Marie has a very close and supportive family. Marie lists her mom as one of her heroes and as the role model for her determination and ability to overcome all the challenges that racing throws her way.
Marie-Hélène has a balanced and very busy life. There's a tremendous amount of training and conditioning required to compete at this level. That is not unusual for a top level athlete, but Marie already has a BA in Kinesiology and has just completed another degree in Pharmacology, and is a working phramacist. Unlike many athletes, mountain bike racing is just part of her life, not all of it, she races because she really enjoys it. As of July 2013, Marie is also a mom with a young daughter, so getting enough sleep is an added challenge.
She is also very active in her community, supporting charities like Enfants Soleil, Fondation québécoise du cancer and other fundraising efforts, as well as talking to school kids about the importance of health and fitness. "Motivate kids to be active, it encourages health!" says Marie.
Marie has the 55km Véloroute Marie-Hélène Prémont bicycle route named in her honour, stretching between Boischatel on the east side of Québec City to Saint-Ferréol-les-Neiges.