(OTTAWA, ON) – Stephen Harper congratulated wheelchair racer Michelle Stilwell on winning a gold medal in the women’s 200-metre (T52) and swimmer Valérie Grand’Maison on her silver medal in 50-metre Freestyle (S13) at the 2012 Summer Paralympic Games in London.
“On behalf of the entire country, I want to congratulate Michelle Stilwell and Valérie Grand’Maison on winning a gold and a silver medal for Canada at the London Games,” said the Prime Minister. “These two gifted Paralympians are great ambassadors for their sport, and their success is an inspiration to us all.”
Michelle Stilwell was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and currently resides in Parksville, British Columbia. This is her third Paralympic Games, and her fourth Paralympic gold medal, having previously won at the 2000 Games in Sydney (wheelchair basketball) and at the 2008 Games in Beijing (wheelchair racing, 100- and 200-metre). She is the current world record holder in the 100- and 200-metre. At the 2011 International Paralympic Committee (IPC) World Championships in New Zealand, Ms. Stilwell won three gold medals and one silver medal.
Valérie Grand’Maison was born in Fleurimont, Quebec, and resides in Montreal, Quebec. She is a two-time Paralympian and this is her seventh Paralympic medal. At the 2008 Games in Beijing, Ms. Grand’Maison won six medals in swimming: three gold, two silver and one bronze. She currently holds three world records in 100-, 400- and 800-metre Freestyle (S13) swimming.
The 2012 Summer Paralympic Games are being held from August 29 to September 9 in London, United Kingdom. Canada is being represented by more than 145 athletes who are competing in 15 sports. More than 4,000 athletes from 125 countries are participating in the largest ever Paralympic Games.