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Inspiring Canadians - In Sport and Life

Honoured Member

NATHALIE LAMBERT

Inducted in 2002

Member Details

Date of Birth: January 12, 1963
Place of Birth: Montreal, Quebec
Sport: Short Track Speed Skating
Member Category: Athlete

Career Highlights

1986

Speed Skating Canada Female Athlete of the Year, Long Track

1987

World record, 3,000m

1990 - 1994

Speed Skating Canada Female Athlete of the Year, Short Track (co-winner in 1991)

1991

Overall champion, world short track speed skating championships

World record, 3,000m relay

1992

Albertville Olympic Games - gold medal (3,000m relay)

1993

Overall champion, world short track speed skating championships

World record, 1000 m

1994

Lillehammer Olympic Games - Silver medal (1,000m) and Silver medal (3,000m relay)

Overall champion, world short track speed skating championships

Honoured Member NATHALIE LAMBERT
Inspire

Story

If the Olympics are meant to inspire, then the 1976 Games in Montreal did just that for one young athlete. And while Nathalie Lambert's dreams were later realized after watching her hometown host the Olympics, she in turn became an inspiration to others - as much for her desire to compete as for the medals she won. Lambert began skating as a 12-year-old and at 13 she began competing. By 1981, she was a member of the national speed skating team and in 1986 was named the female athlete of the year by Speed Skating Canada. The sport of speed skating, however, was changing dramatically in the 1980s and Lambert converted to the new discipline of short track. In 1987, before a hometown crowd in Montreal, she set a world record in the 3,000m and won a silver medal in the overall competition at the world short track speed skating championships. Four years later, Lambert shot to the top of the podium, winning the overall title at the world championships. She won each of the 1,000m, 1,500m, and 3,000m races to beat the five-time overall champion and teammate, Sylvie Daigle. Later that same year, Lambert was a member of the Canadian team that set a world record in 3,000m relay. By 1992, short track had achieved Olympic recognition and appeared for the first time on the program at the Albertville Games. Lambert and her teammates skated to a gold medal in the 3,000m relay and she was given the honour of being Canada's flag bearer at the Games' closing ceremonies. Two years later in Lillehammer, Lambert captured the individual medal she craved, winning silver second in an extremely close 1,000m race. She also led the relay team back to the podium, winning another silver medal. In 1993, Lambert set a world record in the 1,000m at a race in Hamar, Norway. She also repeated as overall world champion in 1993 and 1994. Beyond individual success, Lambert competed on the Canadian 3,000m relay team that won the world championship every year between 1986 and 1994 and again in 1997. For all of her achievements, Lambert was inducted into Speed Skating Canada's Hall of Fame in 1991. Lambert retired after the 1994 world championships, but her competitive spirit hardly diminished. Shortly afterward, she began a comeback to competitive skating with an eye on the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano. Tragedy struck, however, when Lambert broke her ankle in two places at a race in the Netherlands in November 1997. She continued to rehabilitate and train in the hopes of being able to compete in Nagano. While her dream was never realized, her dedication and competitive spirit were an inspiring example that captured the public imagination. Lambert has remained active in speed skating and the Olympic movement. In 2004, she was assistant chef de mission for the Canadian Olympic team in Athens.


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