About Chantal Petitclerc - Canadian Paralympic Champion and Inspiring Speaker:
At the age of 13, Chantal Petitclerc
lost the use of her legs following an accident. Convincing her to take up swimming in order to develop
her strength and stamina, her high school physical education teacher, Gaston Jacques, would have a
decisive impact on her life. For Chantal, that was her first contact with sport and training. Four years
later, she would discover wheelchair athletics, paving the way for a long and very successful career
which would take her to the Barcelona Games in 1992, and ultimately, to the Beijing Games in 2008.
Chantal Petitclerc returned from the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games with 5 gold medals, 2 new world
records and 1 new Paralympic record, making her the most celebrated track athlete in history as well
as the only Canadian athlete to have won gold medals at the Olympics, Paralympics and
Her career in numbers:
- Five Paralympic Games (Barcelona, Atlanta, Sydney, Athens, Beijing)
- 21 Paralympic medals (including 14 gold medals)
- 3 world records (200m, 400m and 800m)
- Paralympic records (200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m)
- 1 Olympic gold medal in the 800m (demonstration sport)
Chantal has received several recognitions for her sporting career, including being appointed Chevalier
de l'Ordre du Quebec (2005), being named Personality of the Year by La Presse newspaper (2004)
and receiving the Laureus international award (2005). Other recognition:
- Companion of the Order of Canada
- Lou Marsh Trophy as Canadian athlete of the year
- Star on Canada's Walk of Fame
- International Paralympic Committee Female athlete of the year
- La Presse Sports personality of the year
- Honorary Doctorate, University of Ottawa
- 2010 United States Sports Academy's (USSA) Juan Antonio Samaranch IOC Disabled Athlete
While the Beijing Games would be the last time she would be participating in track competitions,
Chantal Petitclerc nevertheless continues to train as she intends to take part in road marathons over
the next few years. In 2012, she tried for the first time what could be a new career path as coach and
mentor of the UK track and field team at the London Paralympic Games. After her return to Canada,
she was named Chef de Mission for the Glascow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Chantal Petitclerc is a highly sought after speaker, and shares her story with dozens of groups each
year, both throughout Canada and abroad. She 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.
What Chantal Petitclerc Talks About:
Attitude, Passion, and Determination
At the age of 13, Chantal Petitclerc lost the use of her legs; she discovered Paralympic sports at the age of 17 and|
five years later, in 1992, participated in her first Paralympic Games in Barcelona.
In 2008, after the Beijing Games, she put an end to an extraordinary career in track athletics. Chantal holds the
record as the athlete having won the most medals in history, with 21 Paralympic medals, including 14 gold, one
Olympic medal, and many world championships and world records at all distances, from 100 to 1500 metres.
Along the way, she has learnt a thing or two about resilience, work, competition, performance and pressure. Life
lessons she has been sharing 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.
Today, Chantal Petitclerc is one of the most sought-after public speakers in the country, and audiences truly
appreciate the quality of her words and the value of the messages she shares with the public.
Whether she is speaking in English or in French, Chantal Petitclerc always talks of attitude, passion and
determination. Attitude, a disposition to see things in a positive light, whatever the circumstances or events.
Passion, essential if we want to go all the way and make our dreams come true.
Lastly, determination, which makes us work relentlessly, with the firm conviction that that is what is needed to get
the results we want.
An athlete, public speaker and columnist for Chatelaine magazine, she is also the author of the book 16 jours – Pekin
(16 days in Beijing), which tells the story of her last Paralympic experience. She takes part in various Paralympic
athletics and sports organizations’ projects and, in addition to working as an ambassador for the international Right
to Play organization, she is directly involved as a spokesperson for Défi Sportif in Montreal.
Ms. Petitclerc exemplifies perseverance and excellence-two qualities that attracted Alcan to become associated with her. In the past three years, Chantal has had the opportunity to meet thousands of Alcan employees across Canada and around the world.