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 organisations, 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.
On 18th March 2016, Chantal was named to the Senate of Canada on the advice of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Senator Petitclerc sits on two committees, Agriculture and Forestry and Social affairs, science and technology. Her main priorities in the Senate are health as well as the rights of persons with disabilities.
During her lifetime, Chantal has learned a thing or two about resilience, work, competition, performance and pressure. She has been sharing her life lessons with a touch of humour for over 15 years now, all across Canada and around the world, before groups of all types, at congresses, charities and work meetings.