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Unleashed E71: Lori-Ann Muenzer - The Champion's Mindset

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Achievement isn’t easy. No matter what you’re chasing, there will be obstacles and setbacks that constantly get in your way. Everyone’s heard about “getting back on the horse,” but what if you can’t reach the stirrups? How do you get back on track? 

In 2004, 38-year-old Lori-Ann Muenzer became the first Canadian in history to win an Olympic gold medal in track cycling. It was a long, grueling battle to get there, including a broken collarbone and a last-second flat tire.  

Lori-Ann joined us to share her story of perseverance and the lessons she has learned about goal setting and overcoming obstacles.  

Actions You Can Take Right Now

  1. Find a person. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is not finding someone to help you start. Everyone needs support, guidance, and outside perspectives. 
  2. Write a plan. It’s not enough to just talk about your goals. Write out an action plan so that when something goes wrong, you still know where to go next.  

  3. Have fun. Love what you do, and do what you love. You need a burning inferno of passion and joy to be able to dust yourself off and move forward.  
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View or listen to this and other past episodes on the Unleashed Podcast Library

Episode Highlights and Excerpts

  • A lot of people think they are chasing a goal alone. But if you have a vision, have a picture of what you want, other people will help. Go after it. 

  • The greatest human need is to be needed—let other people see that you need them, and they’ll rush in.  

  • Before she even knew how to ride competitively, Lori-Ann asked for help. She needed a bank loan of $1,000 for the bike and was already willing to say, “I want to go to the Olympics.” 

  • We don’t ask people enough questions. There is help available if we are willing to seek it out. 

  • When she quit in 1994, she was in heavy debt and not having fun. Not enough athletes ask, “After you finish your sport, what are you going to do?” 

  • Nearly three years later, she realized, “I’m not done.” Called her old coach and made three statements: 
    • I need a coach.

    • I’m not going into debt. 

    • I want to have fun.  
  • Take it day by day, and find that burning desire. “You’ve gotta have the inferno inside of you.” 

  • She won the Cuban championship and then immediately broke her collarbone. Instead of giving up, she put it in a sling (made of toilet paper, at first) and kept working. Six weeks later she was at the World Cup in Denmark. Injury, insult, failure—don’t let it stop you.  
  • There are three types of goals: 
    • A Type: You know how to do it. You’ve done it before.  

    • B Type: You think you can do it. You haven’t done it before, but know it’s possible.  

    • C Type: Dreams and fantasies. Kids are amazing at these, but we tell them to stop looking out the window.  
  • Stop settling for As and Bs. Start setting Cs. And not in 10 years—do it in 365 days.
  • For Lori-Ann, it was the podium. She didn’t know where it would be, but the picture of her standing on the podium was clear in her mind. It was going to happen.  

  • You just need one person. “If I know somebody is there (supporting), I can make magic happen. I can deliver. I can execute.” 

  • She blew both tires in the warmup of the semi-final race. Didn’t have a spare. The coaches from France and Australia each donated one for her to race on. “If this is a sign, it’s the only one I need.” People are willing to support greatness, even if it doesn’t directly benefit them.  

  • After failing to beat her rival in a previous race, she kept telling herself, “If I get another opportunity, I will change the outcome.” That opportunity came, and she did.  

  • Achieving goals is an art and a science. 

    • Start with writing out a plan. 95% of people talk about it, only 5% write it down. 

    • Mastermind, with two or three other people. It adds perspective, especially if you pick people who are different than you.  

    • Ask yourself, “If you had the time, what would you do?” “If you had the resources, what would you do?” Chase those goals, not the easy ones.  
  • What gets in the way of possibility? Seven words: “We have always done it this way.” Stop settling for the status quo. Push boundaries, change lanes. Find a mentor or a coach.  

  • How do you take back your life when you’re burned out? Start by having fun again. Relight the pilot, ignite the joy. “I do what I love, I love what I do.” 

  • When you reach a goal, set another one in 24 hours. Not a week, not a month. Do it right away.  

  • Remember, your age is just a number on your driver’s license. Lori-Ann was nearly twice the age of some of her competitors. She didn’t let that stop her. 

  • What you send out, always comes back—but not always when you expect it. 

  • You have more in the tank than you think. Push the limit every day, just a bit more. “Greater expansion, fuller expression.” 

Take Your Business to the Next Level

At Results we care about your success, we understand how overwhelming it can feel to run a business, and we’re here to help. Reach out to Nicole through our contact form for ways to unleash the potential of your business. 

Visit the Unleashed Podcast Library where you’ll find exclusive conversations with world-class thought leaders, authors, and leadership experts. 

Each episode of Unleashed is hosted by Results’ CEO Jeff Tetz who spends most of his day exploring what makes high performers tick and helping build a community of leaders who want to learn and grow together. Follow Jeff (Twitter; LinkedIn; Instagram) for more great leadership insights.

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Lori-Ann Muenzer 


A two-time Olympian, Lori-Ann Muenzer is the first Canadian woman to win an Olympic medal in track cycling. Her breakthrough came at Athens 2004 where she captured gold in the women’s sprint to become Canada’s first (and only) Olympic champion in any cycling discipline. 

An example of true perseverance, at 38-years-old Muenzer was almost twice the age of the women she shared the podium with. She was also a beneficiary of sportsmanship, winning on wheels borrowed from the French and Australian teams after both of her tires had blown apart. 

You can learn more at Lori- Ann's website.