Famed wheelchair racer Chantal Petitclerc has been named Canada’s chef de mission for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.
Petitclerc, 42, is the only Canadian to win gold medals at the Commonwealth, Olympic and Paralympic Games. The native of Saint-Marc-des-Carrieres, Que., still holds world records in three different wheelchair racing events.
"I have such a strong attachment to the Commonwealth Games, dating all the way back to 1990 when I was a silver medallist in Auckland, New Zealand — the first time that events for elite athletes with a disability were included on the sport programme," said Petitclerc, whose appointment was announced Saturday during CBC’s Sports Day in Canada broadcast from Niagara Falls, Ont.
"In 2006, I was honoured to serve as Team Canada’s flag bearer at the opening ceremony for the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia. It was truly one of the highlights of my career."
Petitclerc also has two 800-metre gold medals from the Commonwealth Games in Manchester, England (2002) and Melbourne (2006).
Petitclerc captured 21 Paralympic medals in her career, including 14 gold. She won an Olympic gold in the 800m event at the 2004 Games in Athens, where wheelchair racing was a demonstration sport.
She was also awarded the 2008 Lou Marsh Trophy as Canadian athlete of the year.
"There are so many reasons to be thrilled with Chantal’s appointment as our chef de mission in Glasgow," said Dr. Andrew Pipe, the president of Commonwealth Games Canada. "A former flag bearer, multiple medallist, and someone with a deep appreciation for the athlete experience at the highest levels of international competition. Not to mention the fact that Glasgow 2014 will feature more events for elite athletes with a disability than any previous Commonwealth Games."
The Glasgow Commonwealth Games begin in late July 2014, featuring 17 sports over 11 days of competition. At the last Commonwealth Games — held in 2010 in Delhi, India — Canada finished fourth in overall medals with 76, including 26 gold.