Four years ago Kelsey Mitchell was behind the wheel of a municipal watering truck, riding the brake as her co-worker sprayed weeds in a ditch.
A former university soccer player, Mitchell knew she wanted to stay in competitive sports. She would run on her lunchbreaks and go to the gym when her shift was over.
Now the 27-year-old track cyclist from Sherwood, Park., Alta., is an Olympic gold medallist in track cycling, winning Canada's final medal of the Tokyo Games on Sunday. Mitchell beat Ukraine's Olena Starikova in two straight heats to capture the title, riding out front and never relinquishing the lead.
"I had no idea where I would end up," said Mitchell of her days as a municipal worker. "I hadn't ridden a track bike before, I'd ridden a bike as a kid but nothing since.