A well-known figure in Halton’s cycling community has suddenly died.
The passing of Kelyn Akuna, manager of the in Milton and a Milton resident, is being felt in cycling communities across North America, with many leaving heartfelt memorials online and sending condolences to the family of the married father of two.
Before coming to Milton, Akuna ran the Burnaby Velodrome in B.C. and was also a member of the U.S. national track team.
He continued to ride competitively.
“Absolutely gutted,” wrote Olympic medallist Gillian C Carleton. “Kelyn was one of the best — a competitive athlete, a mentor to myself and many others, and a passionate leader dedicated to improving his community. He will be sorely missed.”
A has been set up to support his family.
“His sudden death (on May 9) was a shock to everyone. Kelyn was the best of us,” wrote Brett Forsyth, organizer of the GoFundMe page. “I will always remember Kelyn as a loving father, caring husband and a true friend. He was someone that was quick to help anyone that asked, and did it with a smile. He was dedicated to building community and often volunteered his time in this pursuit. He was a fierce competitor and brought that same level of intensity to all things that he did.”
Jeremy Ying said Akuna was a role model and for many, the face of Canadian cycling.
“I’m in disbelief over hearing this,” wrote Ying, adding Akuna “brought cycling into the hearts of thousands of Canadians and had such an outstanding rapport with everyone he encountered, from young beginners to national competitors. To say that we enjoyed working with him is an understatement.”
Akuna’s wife, Tara, posted a photo of her husband on Facebook with the tag “I love you forever.”
The flags at the Mattamy National Cycling Centre are at half-mast “to honour a colleague and friend,” staff said.