A professional hockey player was diagnosed with cancer. He vowed to return to the ice to play again. It took two years of intense chemotherapy and physical rehabilitation, but he did it. He came on to the ice to an eight-minute standing ovation. This player was driven to overcome adversity and succeed. Over the course of Canadian Sport history, there have been many of our athletes that have dedicated themselves not only to be a champion once but many times. Each one has faced numerous challenges (i.e. physical, emotional, societal, financial). In this section, there are five Canadian athletes, Ferguson Jenkins, Marlene Stewart Streit, Russ Jackson, Silken Laumann and Chantal Petitclerc that overcame obstacles to succeed in being the best.

Performance Tasks

Choose one of the following:

1. With a partner, create a photo/artefact timeline using one of the above athletes. As a part of this presentation, you will need to include:
dates competitions awards historical dates that would highlight the struggles/challenges each of these athletes has Read More

A professional hockey player was diagnosed with cancer. He vowed to return to the ice to play again. It took two years of intense chemotherapy and physical rehabilitation, but he did it. He came on to the ice to an eight-minute standing ovation. This player was driven to overcome adversity and succeed. Over the course of Canadian Sport history, there have been many of our athletes that have dedicated themselves not only to be a champion once but many times. Each one has faced numerous challenges (i.e. physical, emotional, societal, financial). In this section, there are five Canadian athletes, Ferguson Jenkins, Marlene Stewart Streit, Russ Jackson, Silken Laumann and Chantal Petitclerc that overcame obstacles to succeed in being the best.

Performance Tasks

Choose one of the following:

1. With a partner, create a photo/artefact timeline using one of the above athletes. As a part of this presentation, you will need to include:

  • dates
  • competitions
  • awards
  • historical dates that would highlight the struggles/challenges each of these athletes has faced in their sporting careers (i.e. civil rights movement in the 1960’s – its impact on Ferguson Jenkins).
  • Please use other outside sources to supplement your research.

2. Brainstorm a series of descriptive words that would describe these five athletes. Use Wordle to create a word cloud. Next, create another cloud focusing on your qualities. Write a reflective paragraph to go along with each cloud on why you chose these particular descriptive words for the athlete and yourself.


© 2012, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. All Rights Reserved.

1967 - FEATURE STORY
In his first year in the starting rotation for the Chicago Cubs, Ferguson Jenkins was a workhorse, albeit an underpaid one. He won 20 games with a 2.80 earned-run average, struck out 236 batters and finished second in the Cy Young Award voting. A great all-round athlete, Jenkins took an off-season job joining the Harlem Globetrotters on a winter tour and ended up earning $10,000, which was $3,000 more than the Cubs paid him.

1968 - FEATURE STORY
The mainstay of the Chicago Cubs pitching rotation won another 20 games, improved his strikeout total to 260 and was named pitcher of the year by The Sporting News. But Jenkins had some tough luck along the way, losing five 1-0 games in which he went the distance. He didn’t have much down time, either; after the season he rejoined the Harlem Globetrotters for their tour, eventually playing 80 games with the travelling basketball stars over two winters.

1971 - FEATURE STORY
This probably was Ferguson Jenkins’ best all-round season in a tremendous career Read More
1967 - FEATURE STORY
In his first year in the starting rotation for the Chicago Cubs, Ferguson Jenkins was a workhorse, albeit an underpaid one. He won 20 games with a 2.80 earned-run average, struck out 236 batters and finished second in the Cy Young Award voting. A great all-round athlete, Jenkins took an off-season job joining the Harlem Globetrotters on a winter tour and ended up earning $10,000, which was $3,000 more than the Cubs paid him.

1968 - FEATURE STORY
The mainstay of the Chicago Cubs pitching rotation won another 20 games, improved his strikeout total to 260 and was named pitcher of the year by The Sporting News. But Jenkins had some tough luck along the way, losing five 1-0 games in which he went the distance. He didn’t have much down time, either; after the season he rejoined the Harlem Globetrotters for their tour, eventually playing 80 games with the travelling basketball stars over two winters.

1971 - FEATURE STORY
This probably was Ferguson Jenkins’ best all-round season in a tremendous career that eventually would make him the first Canadian inducted in the National Baseball Hall of Fame at Cooperstown, New York. Jenkins won the Cy Young Award with the Chicago Cubs as the National League’s best pitcher. He had a 24-13 won-lost record, completing 30 games, pitching 325 innings, striking out 263 and walking only 37, one of the best strikeout-to-walk ratios in history.

1974 - FEATURE STORY
Dealt to the Texas Rangers after a great career in Chicago with the Cubs, Ferguson Jenkins quickly adjusted to the new league and dominated it. He recorded his career high in victories, with 25, and logged 328 innings with 29 complete games. Once again, his strikeout-to-walk ratio of 225-45 was phenomenal and Jenkins finished second in the Cy Young Award voting. He would also be voted the American League’s Comeback Player of the Year.

© 2012, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. All Rights Reserved.

Ferguson Jenkins pitching a baseball

Ferguson Jenkins pitching a baseball in his Philadelphia Phillies uniform.

Canada's Sports Hall of Fame
c. 1965
© 2012, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. All Rights Reserved.


Ferguson Jenkins baseball cap with the Chicago Cubs

Autographed Ferguson Jenkins baseball cap.

Canada's Sports Hall of Fame
c. 1970s
1996.9.1
© 2012, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. All Rights Reserved.


Ferguson Jenkins photograph

Portrait of Ferguson Jenkins.

Canada's Sports Hall of Fame
c. 1965
© 2012, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. All Rights Reserved.


Baseball awarded to Ferguson Jenkins

Baseball given to Ferguson Jenkins to commemorate his 98th win as a pitcher.

Canada's Sports Hall of Fame
c. 1971
X980.1678.2
© 2012, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. All Rights Reserved.


Ferguson Jenkins in his uniform with the Chicago Cubs

Ferguson Jenkins wearing his baseball uniform.

Canada's Sports Hall of Fame
c. 1960s
© 2012, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. All Rights Reserved.


Ferguson Jenkins Video

Ferguson Jenkins remembers how he first became a pitcher and how he was recognized by the Philadelphia Phillies. Jenkins then discusses how proud he was to have reached many goals he set prior to the 1971 season with Chicago Cubs’ teammate Billy Williams and how meaningful it was to be named Canadian Press Male Athlete of the Year.

Gene Dziadura who was a student in Windsor came back from some of the professional leagues and he hurt his back and he wanted to participate in Chatham to be a school teacher. He uh, I don’t know if he found me... Gene seen me first playing hockey and he wanted to know what I did in the summer. I said well I’m a first baseman, I enjoy the game and he wanted to know was there another position that I’d ever tried to play. I said well I tried my hand at pitching but I wasn’t that good. And he said, “Well if you want to really do it let’s work at it.” And I had some success. When I look back if it wasn’t for Gene I probably wouldn’t have had the opportunity to be a pitcher and probably wouldn’t have signed a pro contract with the Phillies.

You know Billy Williams and I were buddies, so we together combined we put an envelope together, each of us, and we put stats in this envelope and said this is what we’re going to try to achieve in the ’71 season. So Billy with his outfield, assists, home runs, RBI’s, base hits, that type thing. With myself I put my goals high. I said I’m going to win twenty plus ball games, pitch 300 innings, lead the league in strikeouts and win the Cy Young Award. We opened up the envelope the last day of the season – I’d reached pretty much all of my goals that I’d written. And some of the reporters wanted to find out, he says, “When did you think that you wanted to do this?” I said, “Before spring training even started.” Billy and I sat, we were at one of the hotels in Scottsdale and we put some things together. And not low and behold but with the hard work, working as a team, we were able to reach our goals. I had 39 starts, I completed 30 games, I won 24 and I was fortunate enough to out point Tom Seaver, Bob Gibson, Juan Marichal to win the National League Cy Young that year in 1971.

Well I’m pretty proud of winning the Lionel Conacher Award, especially four times. Out pointing a lot of really good other athletes. Hockey, other baseball players, other Olympic individuals. I won it for the first time and I was pretty proud. I out pointed you know Bobby Hull. The next time some other good athletes. But I mean you play the sport that you’re that you’re given to play in the U.S. and then you come back after you’ve won some major awards and all of a sudden you get a phone call. And they said, “Well you’ve won the award again Mr. Jenkins, so you have to go either to Toronto or Montreal to receive the award.” And I’m quite proud of the fact that I’ve had opportunity to basically have that situation happen to me and I’ve won it four times.

Creator: Bruce Weir

© 2012, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. All Rights Reserved.


1952 - FEATURE STORY
The determined little golfer from Fonthill, Ontario, burst upon the competitive scene at age 18, winning the Ontario Junior Girls’ Championship. More remarkable, Marlene Streit won the Canadian Ladies Golf Association Closed Championship, defeating the great Ada Mackenzie - this only three years after she first swung a golf club. The gracious Mackenzie called Streit “an unbelievable child.’’

1953 - FEATURE STORY
While Ben Hogan, the great American star, was having an incomparable season, Marlene Stewart Streit, who went over the ocean to win the British Ladies’ Amateur, would earn her most enviable nickname. The sportswriters called her Little Ben, not only because of her stature, but her total on-course concentration, determination and her elimination of mistakes.

1956 - FEATURE STORY
At age 20, Marlene Stewart Streit graduated from Florida’s Rollins College. She would win eight tournaments in 1956, including both the United States Women’s Amateur – defea Read More
1952 - FEATURE STORY
The determined little golfer from Fonthill, Ontario, burst upon the competitive scene at age 18, winning the Ontario Junior Girls’ Championship. More remarkable, Marlene Streit won the Canadian Ladies Golf Association Closed Championship, defeating the great Ada Mackenzie - this only three years after she first swung a golf club. The gracious Mackenzie called Streit “an unbelievable child.’’

1953 - FEATURE STORY
While Ben Hogan, the great American star, was having an incomparable season, Marlene Stewart Streit, who went over the ocean to win the British Ladies’ Amateur, would earn her most enviable nickname. The sportswriters called her Little Ben, not only because of her stature, but her total on-course concentration, determination and her elimination of mistakes.

1956 - FEATURE STORY
At age 20, Marlene Stewart Streit graduated from Florida’s Rollins College. She would win eight tournaments in 1956, including both the United States Women’s Amateur – defeating Joanne Carner (nee Gunderson) – and the United States Inter-Collegiate Championship (later known as the NCAAs). She finished the year with the number one world ranking among amateur golfers.

1957 - FEATURE STORY
Resisting all invitations to turn professional, Marlene Stewart Streit maintained her amateur status and continued accumulating Canadian titles, including both provincial and closed championships. Along the way in 1957, she married Douglas Streit and picked up the name she would go by for the rest of her life.

1963 - FEATURE STORY
Marlene Stewart Streit, now the mother of two young daughters, lifted her amateur career to a level never matched, either before or since. She travelled to Australia and won the Australian Ladies Amateur, which made her the only golfer in history to capture national amateur titles in the United States, Britain, Australia and, of course, Canada.

© 2012, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. All Rights Reserved.

Marlene Streit swinging a golf club

Marlene Streit golfing.

Canada's Sports Hall of Fame
c. 1951
© 2012, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. All Rights Reserved.


Marlene Streit posing with a trophy

Marlene Streit after she won the Canadian Ladies Golf Association Open Amateurs.

Canadian Golf Hall of Fame & Museum
c. 1955
© 2012, Canadian Golf Hall of Fame & Museum. All Rights Reserved.


Marlene Streit with a golf trophy

Marlene Streit after winning the United States Women’s Amateur Golf Championship.

Canadian Golf Hall of Fame & Museum
c. 1956
© 2012, Canadian Golf Hall of Fame & Museum. All Rights Reserved.


Marlene Streit on the golf course

Marlene Streit swinging a golf club.

Canada's Sports Hall of Fame
1968-07-26
© 2012, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. All Rights Reserved.


A flag signed by Marlene Streit

A flag autographed by Marlene Streit.

Canadian Golf Hall of Fame & Museum
c. 2004
© 2012, Canadian Golf Hall of Fame & Museum. All Rights Reserved.


Marlene Stewart-Streit Video

Marlene Stewart Streit remembers her first golf experience at 12 years old in Ontario. She attributes her success to determination, consistency, and hatred of losing. In preferring amateurism over professionalism, Stewart Streit also discusses her success and being inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame and winning Female Athlete of the Year.

I got into golf, my neighbour Anne Sharp was a good player in Ontario and Canada, asked me if I’d like to go to the golf course one day with her and of course I was thrilled, I was 12 years old. And so I shagged balls for her, she practiced and gave me the bag and I ran out there and picked them up. And from there, and this was at Lookout Point Golf and Country Club in Font Hill. And the pro there, Gordon McInnis knew I was interested and I went up to caddy and it evolved. And Gordon McInnis was the only teacher I ever had and I guess you’d call him coach in these days. So he sort of taught me everything, how to eat and how to act and how to play the golf course.

I think I was very determined as a little girl, and probably my success in golf was my consistency. I didn’t hit the ball very far but I never hit it very far off line and I had a pretty good short game. And probably the most important thing is I think I really had that great will to win that you really need, and you know I really hated to lose.

You know at the time the LPGA was just starting, they started in 1950 and they weren’t really playing for very much money. I didn’t like the idea of living out of a suitcase and to tell you the truth I think it was the best decision I ever made because I have certainly enjoyed all the times that I’ve represented Canada on international teams and I think that’s probably been one of my greatest joys in golf is to represent my country.

I’ve won 30 national or international championships. And actually I have won at least one national or international championship in each decade from 1951 to 2003 on three different continents. I’ve been very fortunate that way and I think to have been able to stay an amateur I’ve had that opportunity to do that. And I really give a lot of credit to the Canadian Ladies’ Golf Association for sending me to these countries because I probably would never have gotten there otherwise.

The epitome of my whole career was when I was selected to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. I don’t think there’s any greater honour that you can get as a player you know whether it be professional or amateur and I was the first Canadian to be inducted, and we have a lot of great, great Canadian players, golfers in Canada. And so you know it was a huge honour for me and I think a huge honour for the golfing community in Canada to be inducted that year. In 2004 at the World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine.

I think when I won the award I think it was just called the Canadian Press Female Athlete of the Year Award. So 1978 they named it after Bobbie Rosenfeld. I met Bobbie Rosenfeld in 1952 at the Ontario Sports Writers, Sportscasters Association dinner and she had just won in 1950 the Athlete of the First Half of the Century, Female Athlete. So that was a great thrill.

Creator: Bruce Weir

© 2012, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. All Rights Reserved.


1959 - Feature Story
Drafted primarily as a defensive player, Russ Jackson was named the league’s Most Outstanding Canadian Player in only his second season in the Canadian Football League. Then as now, Canadian quarterbacks were rare, but Jackson’s versatility and toughness earned him a look at quarterback in Ottawa. Jackson was a rookie in another field that year. He spent the 1958 season commuting to Toronto to earn his teaching certificate and in 1959 he began his career as a high-school mathematics teacher.

1969 - Feature Story
On November 30, 1969, Russ Jackson went out a champion. In his final game, Jackson threw four touchdown passes to lead the Ottawa Rough Riders to a 29-11 Grey Cup victory over the Saskatchewan Roughriders. He won Grey Cup Most Valuable Player honours and was the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player. No Canadian quarterback has starred in the CFL since Jackson.
1959 - Feature Story
Drafted primarily as a defensive player, Russ Jackson was named the league’s Most Outstanding Canadian Player in only his second season in the Canadian Football League. Then as now, Canadian quarterbacks were rare, but Jackson’s versatility and toughness earned him a look at quarterback in Ottawa. Jackson was a rookie in another field that year. He spent the 1958 season commuting to Toronto to earn his teaching certificate and in 1959 he began his career as a high-school mathematics teacher.

1969 - Feature Story
On November 30, 1969, Russ Jackson went out a champion. In his final game, Jackson threw four touchdown passes to lead the Ottawa Rough Riders to a 29-11 Grey Cup victory over the Saskatchewan Roughriders. He won Grey Cup Most Valuable Player honours and was the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player. No Canadian quarterback has starred in the CFL since Jackson.

© 2012, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. All Rights Reserved.

Russ Jackson holding a football with both hands

Russ Jackson posing with a football.

CP photo
c. 1968
© 2012, CP photo. All Rights Reserved.


Russ Jackson back to pass in his Ottawa Rough Riders uniform

Russ Jackson in full uniform while playing for the Ottawa Rough Riders. Jackson is posed as if he is ready to throw the football to another player.

Canada's Sports Hall of Fame
c. 1960’s
© 2012, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. All Rights Reserved.


Russ Jackson sitting on a bench

Russ Jackson and an Ottawa Rough Riders teammate resting on a bench during a game.

Canada's Sports Hall of Fame
c. 1960's
© 2012, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. All Rights Reserved.


Russ Jackson crossing the goal line for a touchdown

Russ Jackson scoring a touchdown.

Canada's Sports Hall of Fame
c. 1960's
© 2012, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. All Rights Reserved.


Russ Jackson tackled to the ground

Russ Jackson being tackled.

Canada's Sports Hall of Fame
c. 1960's
© 2012, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. All Rights Reserved.


Russ Jackson Video

Russ Jackson recalls his surprise at being named the Ottawa Rough Riders quarterback early in his career because he started at defensive back. After winning the 1968 Grey Cup, Jackson reflects on his final season of 1969. Jackson also speaks about winning Male Athlete of the Year and how his teammates helped in his success.

Well when I joined the Rough Riders in 1958, I don’t think I really went there with the idea that I was going to be the next quarterback in Ottawa. I had played both quarterback and defensive back with McMaster Marauders in Hamilton and when I went there I made the team in ’58 as a defensive back and started the season playing defensive back. And I was sort of a third-string quarterback with Tom Dimitroff and Hal Ledyard being the two incumbent American quarterbacks. Eventually both of them got hurt, later that year I got a chance to play and things worked out well for me in terms of the offense that Ottawa was running at that time. And I guess you can say the rest is history. I just fell into the right place at the right time and was successful. And then after that it became a matter of a couple of years before I established myself as really the number one quarterback.

1969 was a very special year for me because after the 1968 season and we won the Grey Cup beating Calgary that year, I went in and told Coach Clair that the next year would be my last year because I had always told him in previous years that I would let him know when I was getting out of the game. He’d put a lot of faith in me as a Canadian kid playing quarterback in the early sixties and over the last five or six years really he didn’t bring anybody in to challenge me. I mean it was my job from the day we went to training camp. It was very difficult as the season went along in ’69 when I’d go into say Saskatchewan, into Regina – you’d sit in the dressing room after that game and say, “This is the last time I’m going to be here.” And it was a little emotional. And then going on and winning the Grey Cup – the game ended, everybody is so happy because we won the two times, two Grey Cups in a row. I knew it was my last game. Later that night when all of a sudden we’re celebrating after we’d got out of the old football jerseys and got ourselves to have a little celebration with our families and friends back at the hotel we were staying at in Montreal, and that’s when it sort of hit me that you know, this is it. It’s over. Like you’re not going to be doing this again. And that was sort of the, the time I think there was about an hour that evening where I sort of felt just relived 12 years of professional football.

In 1969 when I won the Lionel Conacher Award, it was special. It’s always special to get recognition. There’s no question about that. And as an individual athlete that’s the epitome of your career. As a team athlete which I was, some of the accolades that I got are, as far as I’m concerned they’re team orientated. They’re part of being a member of a real good team. But it was a it was a very rewarding and successful year. A little emotional at times too.

Creator: Bruce Weir

© 2012, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. All Rights Reserved.


1991 - Feature Story
In her ninth year as a national-level rower Silken Laumann continually hammered home the point that Canada now needed to be recognized as a world power in the sport. A year after moving to Victoria, British Columbia, to train with coach Mike Spracklen, Laumann won both the World Cup title and the World Championship. The former, in a gruelling season-long series of six races, was built on victories in San Diego and the Netherlands. The latter came in an extraordinary back-and-forth duel with Romanian rival Elisabeta Lipa in Austria, in which the women traded the lead five times before Laumann pulled away decisively in the final 200m. Laumann said, two of her three goals, the World Cup and World Championship were now fulfilled.

1992 - Feature Story
The only remaining goal in rowing for Silken Laumann was an Olympic medal, but that looked impossible after her boat was rammed in a training accident and her right leg was mangled only seven weeks before the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. Doctors told her she might not race again and certainly not at the Olympic Ga Read More
1991 - Feature Story
In her ninth year as a national-level rower Silken Laumann continually hammered home the point that Canada now needed to be recognized as a world power in the sport. A year after moving to Victoria, British Columbia, to train with coach Mike Spracklen, Laumann won both the World Cup title and the World Championship. The former, in a gruelling season-long series of six races, was built on victories in San Diego and the Netherlands. The latter came in an extraordinary back-and-forth duel with Romanian rival Elisabeta Lipa in Austria, in which the women traded the lead five times before Laumann pulled away decisively in the final 200m. Laumann said, two of her three goals, the World Cup and World Championship were now fulfilled.

1992 - Feature Story
The only remaining goal in rowing for Silken Laumann was an Olympic medal, but that looked impossible after her boat was rammed in a training accident and her right leg was mangled only seven weeks before the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. Doctors told her she might not race again and certainly not at the Olympic Games. Laumann said, “I told the doctors, I thought differently.’’ After five surgeries and 23 days in hospital, she couldn’t walk -- but she could row. Lifted from a wheelchair into her boat, she resumed training a few weeks before the 1992 Games, and somehow persevered to win an Olympic Bronze medal, probably the most glittering Bronze medal in Canadian sports history. As the symbol of dedication and accomplishment, she was chosen by her teammates to carry Canada’s flag at the closing ceremonies.

© 2012, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. All Rights Reserved.

Silken Laumann celebrates

Silken Laumann after she won the bronze medal in the single sculls event at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona.

Ron Poling
1992-08-02
© 2012, CP photo. All Rights Reserved.


Silken Laumann rowing her boat

Silken Laumann crossing the finish line to win a Bronze medal at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona.

Ron Poling
1992-08-02
© 2012, CP photo. All Rights Reserved.


Photograph of Silken Laumann

Portrait of Silken Laumann.

Canada's Sports Hall of Fame
c. 1990’s
© 2012, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. All Rights Reserved.


Silken Laumann Video

Silken Laumann recalls why she first went into singles rowing. She then discusses her ankle injury prior to the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, her tough training regime, and trying to prove the doctors wrong, who say her Olympic dream is over. Laumann participates, and wins Olympic Bronze.

I started rowing with the women’s lightweight eight which I was about a foot taller than any of the other women, and it was sort of decided that I was not going to be a women’s lightweight rower, that I was probably going to be better in open class. And so they put me out in a single and I just loved it. So I was mostly in the single those first few years.

Right before the Olympics in 1992 I was broadsided by a men’s pair in Essen, Germany and it was completely you know unexpected obviously but also incredibly bad timing. I mean I was in the best shape of my life, I was the World Champion. I was preparing to what I believed to be the peak of my career which was hopefully winning a Gold medal at the ’92 Olympics which had been my dream for a long, long time. And then there I was in a hospital bed. I had, I shredded the muscle between sort of my knee and my ankle. I broke my ankle, I had a little bit of nerve damage, I just had massive muscle damage and skin damage. And the doctors of course said the Olympics are over, you know you’ve got a broken ankle, you’ve got huge amounts of muscle damage.

I just remember listening to the doctor telling me all this stuff about my injury, but then thinking yeah but he doesn’t know me, you know and he doesn’t, you know he’s talking about the injuries he’s not talking about me. You know I have this stationary bike on the bed beside mine and I would wheel up to the stationary bike and the pedals had been taken off the stationary bike and a set of handgrips had been put on. And I worked my upper body and my lungs for 90 minutes and there was just a sense of sort of it all being kind of magical, that, surreal I guess. And it was a race, you know oh my gosh there’s you know two weeks left and I’m still improving. I didn’t even tape it for the Olympics because I just kept improving all the way into you know racing that first race.

I got through my first race and I remember through the semi-final I was so nervous. You know I couldn’t accept just being at the Olympics, and I’ve done my best and now I can relax a little bit. I was still putting huge amount of pressures on myself to have my best race and to be a competitor. I’m not actually quite sure where, what I drew from at that time. I mean maybe it was just that you know I’d been through so much already and to now find myself in fourth position and so close to winning a medal and I had nothing to lose. You know I had nothing to lose by going for it even more. And yeah and I just was able to lift my rate and I went really, really hard those last four hundred metres or so. And to the point of I really don’t remember, I don’t remember that whole last part of the race. And I didn’t even know how I’d finished when I crossed the finish line.

Becoming well known in sport and having done something that puts you into a league of all these other fine athletes that our country has, that has been part of our country for decades and decades, I mean it’s like, it’s a huge honour. These are things that I’ve accomplished in my past and I’m very proud of them, they are in the fabric of who I am as a human being, but I’m not going to stop here. You know the most richest and the most giving part of my life is still ahead of me.

Creator: Bruce Weir

© 2012, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. All Rights Reserved.


2008 - Feature Story
The treat she allowed herself, Chantal Petitclerc said, was perfume, If she raced well and satisfied herself with her performance, she would find herself a new aroma. After the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing, it turned out the first scent she wore was champagne, sprayed on her in jubilation by coach Peter Eriksson, seconds after she had once again done the sensational and won five Gold medals. Matching her incredible feat from the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens, Petitclerc swept the races at 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m. It was much more difficult this time. The pool of talented athletes was much deeper – 4,200 athletes from 148 countries in Beijing – and the schedule was tight; her 200m and 800m were scheduled less than 90 minutes apart. Petitclerc responded with two more world record victories and later declared, “These Games were my best ever and the most challenging. The field, the calibre of athletes was higher than ever before, and my schedule was crazy.’’
2008 - Feature Story
The treat she allowed herself, Chantal Petitclerc said, was perfume, If she raced well and satisfied herself with her performance, she would find herself a new aroma. After the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing, it turned out the first scent she wore was champagne, sprayed on her in jubilation by coach Peter Eriksson, seconds after she had once again done the sensational and won five Gold medals. Matching her incredible feat from the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens, Petitclerc swept the races at 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m. It was much more difficult this time. The pool of talented athletes was much deeper – 4,200 athletes from 148 countries in Beijing – and the schedule was tight; her 200m and 800m were scheduled less than 90 minutes apart. Petitclerc responded with two more world record victories and later declared, “These Games were my best ever and the most challenging. The field, the calibre of athletes was higher than ever before, and my schedule was crazy.’’

© 2012, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. All Rights Reserved.

Chantal Petitclerc shows off her five Gold medals

Chantal Petitclerc poses with the five Gold medals she won at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

Nathan Denette
2008-09-18
© 2012, The Canadian Press. All Rights Reserved.


Chantal Petitclerc competing

Chantal Petitclerc winning the 400m wheelchair final at the Canadian Track and Field Trials in Windsor, Ontario.

Ryan Remiorz
2008-07-03
© 2012, The Canadian Press. All Rights Reserved.


Chantal Petitclerc Video

Wheelchair racer Chantal Petitclerc first recalls her uncertainty in duplicating the success she achieved at the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing. Petitclerc discusses the process of winning five Paralympic Gold medals twice and the relief of victory. Petitclerc speaks about the legacy she has left for many Canadians.

We knew, like coming back from Athens with five Gold medals and going into Beijing deciding to again try those five Gold medals, it was a it was a big decision and it took awhile with my coach with my team, sports psychologist and we talked about it for a long time and we were very, I mean I was a little anxious and stressed and we knew that I would not be allowed to lose one of those Gold medals and that anything less than five Gold would be seen as a as a failure. And after awhile I remember Peter, my coach, looking at me with a smile in his eyes and he just said, “Who are we kidding? Of course we’re going for it.”

The whole week the challenge was to not be overwhelmed with winning Gold medals which is very joyful, but I had to keep it in myself and just go okay one out of five, two out of five, three and because I wanted to win those five Gold medals and make history. And after I won the fifth one, the one in the 1500 metre, it was like you know suddenly it just sank in that this was happening you know and that this, that I made it. And it was just so intense and to be in the stadium and to have the crowd there, it was just very, very touching.

It’s hard to describe and it took actually a long time, a few weeks I think to really be able to sit back and look at this from a perspective and just go, wow like this was this was pretty big, and I did it.

I’ve always done the sport for myself and to push my own limits but I do realize and I did realize after Beijing that I am leaving a bit of a legacy and that I did inspire other athletes and other girls to become faster and to become better. And to me it is a it is a bit of a side effect that makes me very happy. And I was inspired by other athletes when I started and they did make a difference in my life. So I find, I find I’m very privileged if I could touch the lives of other athletes and make them want to beat me. I just hope they don’t do it too quick. [giggle]

Creator: Bruce Weir

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Learning Objectives

The learner will:
  • SS S.9 use technology to compose, revise and edit text
  • SS S.6 draw pertinent conclusions based on evidence derived from research

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