(born December 15, 1969 in Saint-Marc-des-Carrières
) is a Canadian wheelchair racer
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, was to have a decisive influence on her life when he convinced her to try swimming to develop her physical strength and stamina. It was Petitclerc's first contact with sports and training.
When she was 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 in dead last, well behind the other competitors. However, she had fallen in love with wheelchair racing and a long and fruitful career had begun.
While Petitclerc was developing her skills as a wheelchair athlete, she pursued her studies, first in social sciences
at the CEGEP de Sainte-Foy
and then in history at the University of Alberta
, where she registered in order to be able to train with Peter Eriksson, who remains her coach to this day.
Petitclerc competed in the Paralympic Games
for the first time in Barcelona
, returning with two bronze medals, the start of collection that now includes twenty one Paralympic medals. Four years later, at the Atlanta games
, she took gold medals in the 100 and 200 m events and three silvers in the 400, 800, and 1500 m races. At the 2000 Summer Paralympics
, she won two golds, in the 200 m and 800 m,... Read More