Remembering Gord Singleton

Canada’s first track cycling world champion was a Niagara Falls native. Pictured: Gord Singleton. Photo Credit: Library and Achieves Canada. 

A legend. He put Canadian cycling on the map. The fastest man on wheels. 

Just a few of the many words uttered in the past about Niagara Falls native, and World Champion, Gord Singleton who passed away Sunday after a battle with prostate cancer.

Singleton’s resume spoke for itself. 

He was an eleven-time Canadian national champion. A two-time Olympian, Pan Am Champion, world champion and world record holder. And he’s also a multiple time hall of famer, received the Order of Canada, and was runner up to Wayne Gretzky as Canadian athlete of the year in 1982.

And oh yes, Singleton was the first, and only, cyclist in history to simultaneously hold world records in all three of track cycling sprint races: the 200m, 500m and 1000m distances. 

Not bad for someone that didn’t start cycling until he was 17. 

Some feel he would have been an Olympic gold medalist as well if not for the boycott, by Canada and many other countries, of the Moscow Olympics in 1980. Singleton was at the peak of his career then, ranked as the number two sprint cyclist in the world.

Singleton would get back into competitive cycling in the 1990s, where he was triumphant in a World Masters event in 1998, capturing a pair of gold medals in the sprint and 750-metre events in the 40 to 45 age group. 

Eight years later, in 2006, Singleton would repeat as gold medalist in the sprint category, this time in the 50- to 55-year-old category.

Here’s what many from across the Canadian cycling scene are saying about the passing of Singleton:

“Rest in peace, Gordon. A friend, a mentor, a world champ from Niagara Falls,” said former professional cyclist and St. Catharines native Tim Lefebvre. “You will be so missed by so many, my deepest condolences to your family.”

Cycling Canada Chief Executive Officer Matthew Jeffries also shared a statement. 

“We are incredibly saddened to learn of Gordon’s passing,” Jeffries said. “One of Canadian cycling’s greatest champions and most gracious ambassadors, Gordon was a trailblazer who inspired so many Canadian athletes who have followed in his footsteps. His accomplishments on the bike were legendary and perhaps surpassed only by his continued contributions, engagement and generosity as an active and valued member of the Canadian cycling community over the past 40 years. He will be dearly missed but never forgotten.”

“He forever changed the perception of what Canadian cyclists could accomplish internationally,” Chris Reid, director of the National Cycling Institute Milton, added. “And young Canadian riders ever since have carried the torch he lit. Rest in peace Gordon.”

Singleton was inducted into the Niagara Falls Sports Wall of Fame in 1990, and into the Canadian Cycling Hall of Fame in 2015. 

Many in Niagara didn’t know Singleton’s cycling prowess, instead they knew him as owner and operator of Niagara Battery & Tire where his involvement with the company, which has three locations in the Region, dates back to 1982. 

Gord Singleton was 67 years old. 

Your donations help us continue to deliver the news and commentary you want to read. Please consider donating today.

Donate Today


  • Politics

  • Sports

  • Business