Janice (Lyon) Masotti

Janice Masotti

Portrait by Robert Howson

It all began as she was watching one of her older brothers play hockey. Another young girl caught her eye by doing cartwheels at the rink and one moment in time started a young Janice Lyon on the road to becoming a Canadian gymnastics champion.

She didn’t take her first lessons until she was 8, but quickly the sport went from past-time to passion. At age 12 her family moved to Guelph where her father built a balance beam on their deck overlooking the 14th hole at the Cutten Club. At that point her training went into high gear. Five to six days a week, her mother drove Janice and her sister Mary, to Toronto for intense training sessions at the Xoces-Eagles Gymnastics Club. “Mom would pick us up from school at 3;30 and we’d train from 4:30 until 9 o’clock four nights a week, then again from 10am to 6pm on Saturday and Sunday. I’d try to get my homework done at noon hour in the cafeteria” remembers Janice.

By the age of 14 she had already won the Canadian Junior Championship and was the 5th ranked gymnast in Canada overall (junior and senior). That led to traveling the world to represent her country in faraway lands like China, Bulgaria, Hungary and Switzerland with famous teammate Elfie Schlegel.

Upon retiring Janice gave back to the sport she loved so much by run all the gymnastics programs for the Guelph YM/YWCA and coaching at the Guelph Saultos Gymnastics Club.

Inducted into the Guelph Sports Hall of Fame – Athlete category – on May 7, 2003