Chantal was born December 15th, 1969 in Saint-Marc-des-Carrières in Quebec. At the age of 13, an accident deprived her of the use of her legs. Her high school physical education teacher, Gaston Jacques, had a strong influence on her future. He convinced her to try swimming to develop her strength and endurance.

Four years later she discovered wheelchair athletics, which would be the beginning of a long and successful career that would take her to the Barcelona Games in 1992 and other games up until those in Beijing in 2008.

Chantal Petitclerc is the track athlete who won the most medals of all time, the Canadian athlete who won the most medals (in any given sport), as well as the only Canadian athlete to have won a gold medal at the Olympic Games, Paralympic Games, as well as the Commonwealth Games.

Her career numbers:

  • Five Paralympic Games (Barcelona, Atlanta, Sydney, Athens and Beijing).
  • 21 Paralympic medals (14 gold medals).
  • One Olympic gold medal at the 800m race (demonstration sport).
  • She beat 26 world records during her career. 
  • She still is the world record holder for the 200 and 400m race.



Chantal Petitclerc’s exceptional career earned her many awards and honors. To name a few:

  • Companion of the Order of Canada
  • Chevalier de  l’Ordre national du Québec
  • The Laureus World Sports Award
  • The Lou Marsh Award as Canada’s Athlete of the year
  • The International Paralympic Committee’s Athlete of the year
  • Induction into Canada’s Walk of Fame
  • Sports personality of the year for La Presse
  • She was awarded an honorary doctorate by the universities of Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton and Ottawa 
  • Awarded the Juan Antonio Samaranch medal given by the International Olympic Committee, USA Sports Academy 

2012 opened a new chapter in her sports career. She became a coach and mentor for the British Paralympic team at the Paralympic Games in London. In 2014 she was appointed Chef de Mission for the Canadian team at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. She will play the same role at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games.

Chantal Petitclerc is a highly sought-after speaker, author of the book “16 days in Beijing”, and enjoys sharing her story with dozens of groups across Canada and abroad every year. She plays an active role in several organizations in the athletic world, as well as in Paralympic sports organizations, and is actively involved as spokesperson for Défi sportif in Montreal, as well as ambassador for Right to Play International.


…People that I love and support

Helping advance Canadian women in sports

Chantal is one of five Canadian athletes giving her support to Fuelling Women Champions, a Dairy Farmers of Canada initiative.

The Defi Sportif

An international event, le Défi sportif, is unique in the world. It brings together elite athletes as well as up-coming Paralympic athletes. Every year, about 4,000 athletes from twenty countries gather to take part in a six-day competition in Montreal. Chantal has been involved since 1995, and has been the spokesperson since 1998. Défi sportif is organized by AlterGo, which reunites organizations working in the interests of social inclusion for disabled people, and this through leisure and sports.

Right to Play

Chantal is one of the athletes who serve as an ambassador for Right to Play, a non-governmental humanitarian organization created by athletes. Their goal is to provide disadvantaged children from all over the world the opportunity to participate in programs focused on sports and games. This organization is training coaches in more than 20 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, countries that are affected by war, poverty and disease.