Chantal Petitclerc: Wheelchair Racing


Chantal Petitclerc, a wheelchair racer was born on December 15, 1969 in Saint-Marc-des-Carrières, Quebec. At the age of thirteen, she lost the use of both legs when a heavy barn door fell on her. Gaston Jacques, a high school physical education teacher convinced her to try swimming to develop her physical strength and stamina and at the age of eighteen, Pierre Pomerleau, a trainer at Université Laval in Quebec City, introduced her to wheelchair sports. Using a homemade wheelchair, she took part in her first race and came last, well behind the other competitors. However, she had fallen in love with wheelchair racing and a long and fruitful career had begun. She competed in the Paralympic Games for the first time in Barcelona in 1992, returning with two bronze medals, the start of a collection that now includes numberous Paralympic gold medals.