Mary (Lyon) Prieditis

Mary Prieditis

Portrait by Robert Howson

Following in her older sister Janice’s footsteps, Mary Lyon literally balanced her way to become the best female gymnast in Canada in 1983.

Having watched her sister win the Canadian Junior title, inspired her to further heights. She jumped right to the national stage and finished third overall at the nationals in 1982, then won the overall title the following year using the balance beam as her specialty.

Training approximately 35 hours every week commuting with mom from Guelph to Toronto, it was a phenomenal commitment for such a young girl. It all came together in St. John’s, Newfoundland when she won the Gold Medal at the Canadian Championships.

But after the joy of a national title came heart break a year later. As the defending champion she was all but a shoe-in to qualify to represent Canada at the Olympic games in Los Angeles. However, as she was warming up on the uneven bars she landed where the two mats met and tore the ligaments in her ankle. Instead of competing against American Mary Lou Retton she was forced to watch her win gold from her bed.

During her competitive days she was lucky enough to travel to the Soviet Union, Holland, Japan and England to name just a few countries. “I have no regrets” says Prieditis. “I got to have a wonderful relationship with my sister and family and traveled the world doing something I truly loved.”

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