Photograph by Marc Landry
While it is easy to be fooled by her unassuming and sunshiny disposition, do not be deceived by Mikaela Kofman, a young and promising prospect on Canada’s national mountain bike scene. This dynamo who holds the 2011 Under 23 Canadian Championship title, is known for her steely determination to prevail against all odds. After being knocked off her bike by a competitor in the 2011 Pan Am Games in Guadalajara Mexico, Mikaela fought back from the back of the pack to finish an outstanding 4th in her first race as an elite racer. She is a fighter and testament to her tenacious nature was her gold medal win at the 2009 Canada summer Games, where she competed against all medical advice with a broken shoulder.
The word “cannot” is not part of Mikaela’s vocabulary and she recognizes that obstacles, whether they are mechanical, physical or otherwise, are factors in life’s journey. A look at her decorated wall, 2nd Pan Am Championships 2010 in Guatemala, 1st Canada cup Series 2010, and 1st Ontario cup series 2011 and 2012 would lead one to believe that this feisty competitor has been mountain biking all her life. This is not the case as she is a relatively newcomer to this sport, opting to seriously pursue mountain biking at the age of 17. Previously, Mikaela was a downhill skier and a member of the prestigious Ontario provincial team.
Not defined by athletics alone, Mikaela is a graduate from McGill University with a BSc from the department of Anatomy and Cellular Biology. Additionally, she has just started her Doctor of Dental Medicine Degree at Roseman University. Juggling the demands of sport and school is difficult, but Mikaela embraces both worlds passionately. She believes that sport fuels education and education fuels sport. It is not rare to see her at training camps and races holding a book in one hand and a bike cleaning brush in the other. Racing home from a race to write an exam is common practice for her.
And yet, this busy person still finds time to give back; teaching young kids to ride mountain bikes, lending support and coaching to her favourite charity Erace Cancer, Mikaela is a shining example of generosity. This multi-faceted and disciplined athlete is the full package…brains, brawn and good will. She is young with big ambitions and her unfettered drive will undoubtedly deliver success.