08 April 2011
Chantal Petitclerc has discovered a new passion and is embarking on a new adventure in handcycling. The winner of 21 Paralympic medals, 14 of them gold, and holder of four World records and five paralympic records will take her first official laps at the paracycling events of the 28th Défi sportif on Friday April 29 and Saturday April 30, 2011.
“Hand cycling is an exhilarating sport that allows me once again to push back my limits. For the moment, I have chosen to devote myself primarily to this sport”, says the athlete originally from Saint-Marc-des-Carrières, and who, indeed, will not run the Boston Marathon on April 18 as she had previously considered. “Plus, this sport gives me the opportunity to work with Eric Van den Eynde, an important figure on the Canadian cycling scene. I guess life has a way of working out; some health problems lead me to put my racing wheelchair aside, in favour of the handcycle. I can’t wait to participate in my first official race, at the Défi sportif!”
This piece of news brought much joy to the organizers of the 28th Défi sportif, Chantal being it’s a spokesperson since 1998.
Maxime Gagnon, director of the Défi sportif AlterGo declares: “We are happy to once again be able to count on Chantal’s presence this year, not only as spokesperson but also as an athlete. Chantal is a role model of determination and of surpassing oneself, and we feel privileged to witness her debut in a new sport!”
So, Chantal Petitclerc will take part in the time trial competitions on Friday April 29 starting at 5:30 m., as well as in the road races on Saturday April 30, from 10:30 a.m. on. Like last year, the paracycling contests as well as the para-athletics events will take place on the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve of Notre-Dame Island.
An unequalled number of participants in paracycling
The Défi sportif organizers are expecting a record number of athletes for the paracycling competitions.
“Compared to previous years, we already count a good number of entrants”, according to Maxime Gagnon. “Among others, we will have the opportunity to welcome a large delegation of American athletes and the participation of athletes from the Canadian national team is very good.”
To see the schedule of all the sports featured at the 28th edition of the Défi sportif, including the paracycling events, visit www.defisportif.com.
About Chantal Petitclerc
A source of inspiration throughout the world, Chantal Petitclerc is the most titled paralympic athlete in Canadian history with a total of 21 medals in five Paralympic Games. She also holds four World records and five paralympic records. Défi sportif spokesperson and sought-after speaker, she motivates people to face adversity and contributes to the development of adapted sport. Recognized for her feats and as a role model, she has, in particular, received the Laureus International Sport Award and is the first woman practicing a paralympic sport to have won the Lou Marsh trophy as Canadian Athlete of the Year.
About the Défi sportif AlterGo
Unique in the world, the Défi sportif is an international event gathering both élite and emerging athletes with all types of disabilities. Bringing together over 3500 athletes from about twenty countries, the Défi sportif will play out in Montréal from April 26 to May 1st, 2011. Presented by Hydro-Québec, the Défi sportif AlterGo is organized by AlterGo, a grouping of organizations working for the social inclusion of people living with disabilities through leisure.