Colette has represented Canada as wheelchair
racer at the Summer Paralympics at Barcelona, Spain and Atlanta and has
competed as a cross-country skier at the Winter Paralympics in
Albertville, France, Lillehammer, Norway and Nagano, Japan.
Colette was born on Jan. 17, 1962, at
Porcupine Plain where she attended elementary and high school and played
hockey with her cousins for three years. One of her teenage hobbies was
riding motorcycle but she also embraced track and field, where twice
attended national championships.
She suffered a broken back, among a number
of injuries, in a car accident on April 21, 1980, but her confinement to
a wheelchair didn't stop her from pursuing sports interests.
Colette trained diligently, preparing
herself for the 100 metres, 200 metres, 400 metres, 800 metres and 1,500
metres and she would win medals in all events at a Canadian level and
more at an international level. She raced at the Canadians championships
and British Commonwealth games in 1990, won all five distances in Canada
in 1991 and four in 1996 and was often in the medals internationally.
Colette won bronze medals in the 100 metres
and 800 metres at the Barcelona Paralympics in 1992 and she won bronze
in the 100 metres and the 200 metres at the Atlanta Paralympics in 1996.
Colette also broadened her sports horizons,
starting with cross-country skiing as a hobby but eventually deciding to
become competitive on the snow. Training sessions in Europe led to her
first Winter Paralympics, where she finished fourth in each of three
events - the 2.5-kilometre, five kilometre and 10 kilometre distances -
at Lillehammer, Norway.
She competed twice in the Winter Paralympics
at Albertville, France, finishing sixth in both the 12.5-kilometre and
five kilometre skis.
Colette was a popular figure at the 1998
Paralympics at Nagano, surrounded admiringly by Japanese school
children. She had her best-ever Winter games, winning a silver medal at
2.5- kilometres and then following up with a silver at five kilometres. Colette
gives the victory signal after carrying the Canadian flag in the closing
ceremonies of the largest Games ever.
has been an elementary school teacher since 1989 and has special
memories at Brunskill and the relay teams she coached during Brunskill's