Cyclist. Artist. Innovator.
Louis Garneau is a Canadian Olympic cyclist who competed in the Men's Road Race at the 1984 L.A. Olympics. Despite a crash and bloodied road rash early in the race, he hung in and netted an honorable 33rd place in a strong field. Through an accomplished amateur career, racing across the world in heat, cold, rain, and even snow, Louis toughened his body and spirit and forged his character and disposition. His credo, "Never Give Up." was forged in the training and racing during this formative period.
With an eye on a career after cycling, Louis had already pursued his interest in art and design with a University degree. As many artists can attest, a career in art can be slightly elusive for a young creative mind. Just as Louis could find the right line to follow in a lead-out, he had a knack for opportunities. Before he even competed in the Olympics, his entrepreneurial spirit and drive to innovate appeared. In the fall of 1983, in his father's garage, Louis Garneau and his wife, Monique Arsenault, started manufacturing their first cycling clothes because Louis couldn't find product to meet his needs in the market. The kit he and the rest of the Canadian team wore in the LA Games was among his first creations.
In 1984, after participating in the Olympics, Louis decided to leave active competition and turn to business. Louis and Monique knew cycling and had first-hand experience with the lack of good technical clothing in the market; Louis had not-so-fond memories of using a garbage bag as a rain jacket during quite a few races and knew that his design background and knowledge posed an opportunity. With this, the couple took their extensive experience in cycling, the intimate knowledge of a cyclists' specific needs, and a few lessons on a sewing machine to develop and launch a range of original and comfortable clothing offered at competitive prices that athletes could appreciate. The Garneau brand took off!
Louis Garneau has been involved with cycling his entire life. With 13 years of bike racing around the globe and over 150 victories, including the Canadian Championship in individual pursuit, Louis lives and breathes cycling. He still mixes it up in the local Wednesday night criterium series and can really turn the screw on the famous Garneau lunch rides. He keeps the passion for cycling burning and provides inspiration to the talented team at his namesake company. The Garneau company now features Louis and his two sons, William and Edouard, who are picking up the baton for the next generation of passion and innovation.
Louis Garneau's dedication to cycling can only be matched by his commitment to helping others. From his involvement with fundraising for Little Brothers, Friends of the elderly to his participation in charity events, Louis Garneau embodies the spirit of his words when he says Never Give Up. Please visit our Philanthropy & Causes page to see some of the organizations he is proud to support. Perhaps you'll find your own inspiration!