Earlier today, the International Paralympic Committee announced the Canadian Chantal Petitclerc had won their International Women’s Day Recognition Award.
Retired twenty-two time Paralympic medalist in track and field Petitclerc was nominated for the award by the Canadian Paralympic Committee. Petitclerc has wracked up a number of awards and honors alongside her fourteen Paralympic gold medals. She was the Chef de Mission for Team Canada at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, and will reprise that role at the 2016 Summer Paralympics. She has won the Lou Marsh award, has become a member of the Order of Canada.
Petitclerc is quoted by the IPC as saying of the award, “This is such a fantastic honour and a unique recognition. […] As an athlete you want to become the best at your sport and it’s all about world class performances. But when you retire, you realise that sport is much more than performances in a stadium. I know that sport can have an impact on people’s life, and I want to think that I can make a difference in inspiring others to reach their goals. But to be recognised on International Women’s Day makes it even more special. […] Women in sports have come a long way, but let’s be true, there is still a lot to be done to reach full equity and recognition, and to think that I can have a part in that makes me very proud.”
The Canadian beat out a short list of four other women, including fellow Canadian Sonja Gaudet who is a wheelchair curler, the Danish President of the IBSA Jannie Hammershoej, Russian para-Nordic ski coach Irina Gromovaand Great Britain’s firm Paralympic athletics gold medalist Caz Walton.