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Growing up in Port Arthur, this future Olympian originally had his sights set on a hockey career. A talented player, who was eventually drafted by the London Knights Major Junior A Team of the OHL, he used cycling as part of his training program. Making his way to the Thunder Bay Cycling Club, he eventually hung up his skates and set upon a course to become Canada's best-ever track cyclist.

A member of the Canadian team from 1983-96 he earned over 30 national titles. Putting in a 4th place showing at the 1983 Pan Am Games in just his first year on the national team, he claimed the gold medal in the 1KM time trials and the bronze in the match sprint event in his second appearance at the Games in 1987. At the Commonwealth Games, he won silver medals in the match sprint in 1990 and 1994 and gold at the 1990 Good Will Games.

Earning double silver in 1994 and double gold in 1996 at World Cup events, his record of success at the World Cycling Championships included silver medal performances in 1990 and 1995. Exhibiting his legendary burst of speed, he became a world record holder in 1995, crossing the finish line of the 200M match sprint (flying start) qualifier in a time of 9.865 seconds, becoming the first cyclist to break the 10 second barrier in competition.

A four-time Olympian, Curt truly represented his country with distinction. His silver medal performance in the 1000M time trial event in Los Angeles in 1984 marked his first visit to the Olympic podium. In 1988, mechanical difficulties dashed his hopes of claiming an Olympic medal at the Seoul Games. Fighting back from injuries suffered in a crash prior to the 1992 Games, he mounted the podium in Barcelona to collect a bronze medal in the Individual Match Sprints. Entering his fourth Olympics in Atlanta in 1996 he climbed onto the Olympic podium for an amazing third time with a bronze medal showing in the 200M Match Sprint, rounding out a most impressive athletic career.

Retiring from competition in 1996 Curt has remained involved in cycling and sport in a number of ways. A colour commentator for CBC he also serves as a motivational speaker and is dedicated to fostering young athletes and the importance of sport.

Inducted into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, September 28, 2002

Curt Harnett

Thunder Bay
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