Gunnar Holmgren landed Canada’s first medal of the 2023 Pan American Games early on Saturday morning. Not just any medal, the Orillia, Ont. racer scored gold in the men’s cross country mountain bike race.
Holmgren escaped from Chilean mountain bike star, Martin Vidaurre Kossmann, just before the mid-point of Saturday’s XCO race. From there, the Canadian would ride alone to the finish line. Vidaurre would hold on for second with Brazil’s Jose Almeida rounding out the podium in third.
It’s a big result for Holmgren, following a break-through World Cup season that saw the Pivot Cycles-OTE athlete bring home his first elite men’s top-20 finish.
Canada’s under-23 phenom, Carter Woods, had less luck in Chile. The Vancouver Island racer had an untimely flat tire and finished well down the standings.
Gunnar Holmgren scores Canada’s FIRST medal of the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games 🇨🇦 🚴 pic.twitter.com/R1yi3PoC5X
— CBC Olympics (@CBCOlympics) October 21, 2023
The Gold medal also adds to a banner year for the Holmgren family. Gunnar’s younger sister, Isabella Holmgren, already brought home world championship titles in junior women’s cyclocross and junior women’s mountain biking this year. Ava Holmgren finished second at cyclocross world championships, standing on the podium beside her twin sister.