Team Canada rookie road cycler Michael Woods hopes to race his way to the podium

This will be Michael Woods’ first Olympic Games and he will be competing in road biking. Unlike many of his Team Canada colleagues, Michael is relatively new to the sport he’s competing in. Michael has an interesting story which includes some pretty intense injuries and 13 broken bones. He’s definitely an athlete your kids will want to cheer for in Rio.

According to the Rio 2016 Spectator’s Guide, in road cycling, “all competitors start together in a long-distance race. Bikes need to be light, sturdy and comfortable, because riders spend long hours cycling.” They also note that “Teams develop strategies to help their leader: protecting them against the wind, pursuing a rider and accelerating to challenge the opponents.”

Road cycling requires balance, agility, endurance, and strategy.

When did you first realize you loved your sport? How did you know?

I have always loved riding my bike. The first time I realized this was likely the first time my dad took my training wheels off.

What is one way, outside of sport, that being physically literate has helped you?

My ability to focus. When I first started running in high school, my grades improved dramatically as I could finally focus in class.

When you aren’t participating in your sport, what is your favourite way to be active?

I enjoy hiking, running, and skiing.

Tell us one thing you remember your parents doing that encouraged you or helped you to keep active.

My parents were always very active, and they made sure that I took part in as many sports as possible. Their belief in me and their encouragement was what has kept me active.

What’s the most important thing you can share with the kids who look up to you?

Have fun. Staying active does not have to be, and should not be, a chore. The most important thing to do in order to encourage an active lifestyle is to keep the activities that you do fun.

If your child is inspired by Michael and is interested in cycling, the first step is to be confident on a bike. Here are some related articles and activities:

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