2011 Hall of Fame Inductee: Marc Lemay
Long before he was elected Member of Parliament, Marc Lemay was a provincial, national and
world leader in the sport of cycling.
In his youth, Lemay was a passionate cyclist. He translated this into a career spent in the
organizational side of cycling – and there made a major impact on a sport that now accounts for
some of the most popular events at Olympic Games. For several years in the late 1970s and
early 1980s, the native of Amos, Que. was technical director of the Tour de l’Abitibi – a major
race that is part of the official Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Junior World Cup tour.
From there, he rose to positions of significant influence. President of the Quebec Cycling
Federation in 1980-1981, Lemay entered the Canadian Cycling Association and served as
president from 1982 to 1992. A trailblazer, Lemay was the first French member of the sport
organization. During much of that tenure, he was also a board member with the Canadian
Olympic Committee (1982-1996), bringing the needs of cycling to the forefront.
In the early 1990s, Lemay’s cycling influence went global. In 1991, he was elected president of
the UCI’s mountain bike commission. He also served on the steering committee of the
International Federation of Amateur Cycling. He remained at the helm of international mountain
biking until 2001.
That year, Lemay was awarded the Union Cycliste Internationale Merit for his contribution to the
development of international cycling. Under his UCI tenure, the sport of mountain biking
experienced tremendous growth that included a berth in the coveted Olympic program. That
International Olympic Committee decision occurred in 1993, just six years after the first World
Mountain Biking Championships.
The sport was first contested at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games and now is one of Canada’s
strongest summer sport events. One of Lemay’s crowning moments came in 2001 when
Canadian mountain bikers won two gold and two silver medals at the World Championships, and
he presented Victoria’s Roland Green with the men’s world champion jersey.
Within Quebec sport, he has received many honours. Lemay is a three-time Administrator of the
Year (1981, 1991, 1994), Gala de Sports-Québec’s cycling “builder of the past quarter-century”
(1997) and a member of the Quebec Cycling Hall of Fame (1999).
Now a successful politician, Lemay has been an elected member of the House of Commons in
the riding of Abitibi-Témiscamingue for the Bloc Québécois since 2004.