The family that bikes together, stays together.
Cycling has been a family-friendly event at the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games for two households in particular.
Charles-Antoine St-Onge, younger brother Maxime St-Onge and sister Marie-Fay St-Onge have turned in solid performances for Team Quebec while sisters Ava and Isabella Holmgren of Orillia have done Team Ontario proud.
Charles-Antoine St-Onge, who won a silver Monday in the male mountain biking cross-country race at Twelve Mile Creek and was a member of Team Quebec’s gold-medal winning relay race team Wednesday, appreciates being able to share the sport, not only with his siblings, but his parents as well who were in attendance cheering them on.
“I think we’re really lucky that they’re there for us and all the cheering they gave us was really amazing,” he said.
Maxime St-Onge, who earned a gold Monday in the cross-country race and was also a member of the gold-medal winning relay race team Wednesday, also appreciated the support.
“It means a lot. Not everybody can have their parents at every race but ours are very supportive,” he said.
Maxime St-Onge said there isn’t a huge sibling rivalry on the course.
“We’re brothers so it’s not that much of a competition. It’s more like we’re there for each other. We’re not competing for the win, we wanted to get silver and gold.”
Marie-Fay St-Onge, who at 18 is the middle sibling, held up her end winning bronze in the cross-country female race Monday and was a member of Team Quebec’s silver-winning mountain bike relay Wednesday.
The Holmgrens also enjoyed the events as a family with Ava Holmgren and Isabella Holmgren teaming up to win gold as part of Team Ontario’s relay team Wednesday. Ava Holmgren also captured gold Monday in the cross-country race while Isabella placed eighth.
Dad Robert Holmgren chipped in as coach while mom Lisa Holmgren, a former World Cup racer, was also on hand.
“It’s great to have our No. 1 supporters with us and to have these amazing goals and experiences and to share them as a family and to continue the legacy of cycling in our family,” Ava Holmgren said.
The gold-medal winner said she and her sister are very supportive of each other.
“I’d say everything is positive. If I have a bad race I can always be happy for her and when she has a bad race she can be happy for me. I always have someone to hug at the finish line and someone to push me.”
Robert Holmgren said cycling has been a big part of the family for as long as he can remember.
“Lisa was a World Cup racer back in the day. I wasn’t quite that good but decided maybe I would try the coaching thing. We got together, had a couple of kids, and just instilled physical fitness and riding mountain bikes into their livelihood and this is where they are now.”
Lisa Holmgren appreciates being able to cheer on her daughters.
“It’s been pretty special to be here to watch them and cheer for them. Their older brother Gunner competed in 2017 and I wasn’t able to go so this is pretty special to have it hosted in Ontario,” she said.