Eight Is Not Enough

Canadian Paralympian and University of Saskatchewan alumna Colette Bourgonje (BSPE’84, BEd’85) won Canada’s first medal of the 2010 Paralympic games in Vancouver on March 14, a silver medal in the women’s 10 kilometer cross-country sit-ski race—bringing her lifetime Paralympic medal count to nine.
Bourgonje was on pace to win the gold medal, but she lost valuable time when she crashed in the second of three laps. Her final time of 31:49.8 was less than a minute behind the gold medalist from Belarus, and about a minute ahead of the Ukrainian bronze medalist.
After an automobile accident in 1980 left Bourgonje unable to walk, the former cross-country runner changed her focus to wheelchair racing, in which she has won four medals in four summer Paralympic games. She later tried sit-skiing and has participated in all five winter Paralympic games, earning five more medals.
More information on Bourgonje can be found at:
Q&A with Colette Bourgonje: Spring 2006 Green and White
Paralympic Perspectives: Colette Bourgonje
Medal Update:Bourgonje added her tenth medal–a bronze in the 5 km cross-country sit-ski–on March 18. There may be more on the way, as she has not yet decided if she will participate in the relay.
Photo by Jamie McDonald, Getty Images