Hall of Famer
Inducted in 2010
Two bronze medals Barcelona Paralympic Games
Two gold medals and three silvers Atlanta Summer Paralympics
Five gold medals, 2 new world records and Paralympic record Beijing Summer Paralympics and Olympics
Awarded a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame
Chantal Petitclerc isn’t just one of the fastest women on wheels, she is the most celebrated track athlete in history. Born December 15, 1969 in Saint-Marc-des-Carrieres, Quebec, Petitclerc didn’t have athletic dreams or aspirations until age thirteen when an accident involving a barn door resulted in her permanently losing the use of her legs. Petitclerc defied the threat of immobility by taking up swimming, which helped her stay active and develop physical strength. When she was eighteen, she took part in her first wheelchair race. Despite coming in dead last, she fell in love with the sport, and four years later, she competed in the 1992 Barcelona Paralympic Games, winning two bronze medals. Petitclerc was on a roll.
At the 1996 Atlanta Summer Paralympics she won two gold medals and three silvers. Over the next decade, her career accelerated as she competed in the 2000 Sydney Summer Paralympics, the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games, and the 2004 Athens Summer Paralympics and Olympics. She made her biggest mark at the 2008 Beijing Summer Paralympics and Olympics, returning with 5 gold medals, 2 new world records and a Paralympic record – a performance that earned her the Lou Marsh Trophy as Canadian athlete of the year. She is the only Canadian to have won gold medals at the Olympics, Paralympics and Commonwealth Games. She’s tied the Canadian record for gold medals at a single Winter or Summer Games, and has a whopping twenty-one Paralympic medals. In 2009, Petitclerc got her own star on Canada’s Walk of Fame in Toronto, cementing her as one of the most accomplished and noteworthy Canadians of all-time.