The Magdalen Islands are famous for their breathtaking landscapes, seafood and friendly locals. More recently, they have been attracting attention because of sprinter Hugo Barrette, the young international track-cycling sensation who won three medals at the PanAm Games in Toronto, including two golds!

The 25-year-old, who was born in Cap-aux-Meules, has compete for his country in keirin, a sport that originated in Japan, at the 2016 Rio Olympics. This is a dream come true for the athlete, who fell in love with cycling 10 years ago as a way of staying fit during the hockey off-season. Since then, he’s been unstoppable!

His philosophy: full speed ahead, don’t look back—and strive to outdo yourself every day. This adage works well for him, since he holds the Canadian record in track sprinting and team sprints internationally. In January 2016, he won the World Cup (in keirin) in Hong Kong, in addition to 10 titles as Canadian champion.

After a serious accident while training in Colombia in October 2015, which could have cost him his life, Hugo astonished the sports world with a lightning-fast recovery that took barely a month. In December, against all odds, he was back on the track for the World Cup in Cambridge, New Zealand.

Recognized for his huge talent and natural physical abilities, Hugo is one of very few “Madelinots” to have competed at the Olympics. One thing is certain, he knows how to claim his rightful place: he grew up with three younger sisters and two older brothers! The sprinter with the smiling eyes is definitely one to watch on the road to 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

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