Jean Labonté lost part of his left leg to cancer in 1990 at 20 years of age, but his athletic career only took off from there.
Six years after that, he made the Canadian Paralympic sledge hockey team for the first time, winning gold in 2006 and leading the team as captain in Vancouver.
He was also chosen to carry the Canadian flag during his fourth and final Paralympics before retiring in 2010.
"The experience goes beyond the results… it gives people some hopes, some dreams, they say 'oh, maybe I can reach that level,'" he said.
"There are a lot of kids around the country that are disabled, that are trying to find out what they can do and where they can get in life — sports are a good avenue."
Labonté will be one of dozens of human "books" available at the third annual Human Library, a partnership between CBC Ottawa and the Ottawa Public Library.
On Jan. 25, anyone interested can visit one of five participating branches and "check out" a book for a 20-minute conversation.
Labonté will be at the main branch at 120 Metcalfe Street from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.