Michael Merrall Passes Away
Sadly, Michael Merrall, 59, passed away at his home in Milton, Ont. on May 16. An avid cyclist, Merrall was a 33-year veteran of the sports-management business. His company, High Performance Marketing Inc., was the force behind the PwC Epic Tour, one of Canada’s largest gran fondos.
Merrall also worked with Cycling Canada on its Hall of Fame annual induction event and the Lexus Ride with Legends. A fixture in the Canadian sports-business landscape since 1983, he enjoyed many years working as a sports-marketing executive with International Management Group (IMG) before forming his own company.
During his career, he was named by The Globe and Mail as one of the 10 most powerful people in sports, and his projects have raised close to $3 million for Canadian charities that included Right to Play and Ronald McDonald House Charities.
The founder of Stars on Ice, Telus Skins Game, Canadian Professional Figure Skating Championships, RMCC Wayne Gretzky and Friends, Skate the Nation, Steve Nash Charity Classic and other successful events, he was often cited as one of the most creative executives in the industry.
Merrall cycled through eight countries in Europe, and his most recent biking adventure, last November, took him to South Africa, where he spent 10 days cycling the Drakensberg Mountains, climbing 20,000 feet in 10 days.
He was the loving father of Leah and beloved son of Iris Keith and the late Charles Merrall. He was the cherished brother of Karen (Ted) Giesbrecht, uncle to Amy (Anthony) Musclow and Matthew (Christina) Giesbrecht and great-uncle to Marley and Oliver Giesbrecht. He was predeceased by five-year-old brother Iain Keith.
As expressions of sympathy, donations to Right to Play Canada (www.rightoplay.ca) are appreciated by the family.
Pedal joins the cycling community in sending condolences to Merrall’s family and friends. – RJ