Determination, perseverance, discipline. These three qualities truly capture the strength and character of the great Canadian athlete, Olympian and wheelchair race specialist, Chantal Petitclerc. A paraplegic from the age of 13, Chantal discovered a passion for sports while seeking a physical activity suited to her post-accident condition. Wheelchair racing helped Chantal regain confidence in her abilities and sharpened her desire to test her limits.
Her coach was struck by her determination and less than a year later, Petitclerc competed in her first race. Twice breaking the world record in the 100m and now a multiple Gold medal Paralympian, Chantal’s perseverance, and discipline has allowed her to triumph over any obstacle impeding her success. In June 2009 Petitclerc was honored with a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame and in July 2009 she was appointment as Companion of the Order of Canada (the highest level of the Order) for “her achievements as a Paralympic champion known internationally as an inspiration, and for her commitment to developing sports for athletes with a disability.”
Chantal participates in projects by various Paralympic athletics and sports organizations, in addition to working as a spokesperson for Défi Sportif in Montréal and as an ambassador for the international Right to Play organization. Chantal was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2010 where she sits among the remarkable athletes who serve as a profound reminder of the depth and breadth of our nation’s rich sporting landscape. In 2016, Chantal was named Canada’s chef de mission for the Rio Paralympic games.
During her lifetime, she has learned a thing or two about resilience, work, competition, achievements and stress and pressure. She has been sharing her life’s lessons with a touch of humor for the last fifteen years, and this across Canada and abroad, in front of groups from all walks of life, during fund-raising events and also working meetings.