Six-time Paralympic champion Michelle Stilwell. Supplied by Parksville-Qualicum Constituency Office.
Parksville-Qualicum MLA Michelle Stilwell is being acknowledged for her solid gold career as a Paralympic athlete.
Stilwell, a Winnipeg, Manitoba product, is being inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame and her accomplishments include a gold medal in wheelchair basketball and five more in track and field at the Paralympics.
She is a world-record holder in the T52 100 and 200-metre events and Stilwell said this induction is very special.
“It’s such an honour to be recognized for sports that I loved, Manitoba is where I grew up and it’s where sport was instilled in me,” said Stilwell. “It’s going to be great to go home and celebrate with friends and family.”
Her Paralympic career spanned four Summer Games (Sydney-2000, Beijing-2008, London-2012, and Rio de Janeiro-2016) but, complications to her spinal cord injury forced Stilwell to switch from wheelchair basketball to track and field after the Sydney Games in 2000 and she said she owes her success to hard work.
“You transfer sports, you go into an individual sport and going to track and field and succeeding in Beijing and London and in Rio, knowing that it’s the hard work that I put in every single day, the commitment that I made to ensuring my success,” said Stilwell. “That relentless pursuit of excellence makes it all worth it at the end of the day.”
She won a gold medal with Team Canada in wheelchair basketball back in 2000 and won five golds in track and field from 2008 to 2016.
Stilwell is a nine-time world champion and holds the world record in the 100 and 200-metre wheelchair track and field races and she said she’s looking forward to the induction dinner on November 2 and can’t wait to see family and friends.
Stilwell is already a member of the BC Sports Hall of Fame and continues to advocate for healthy, active living, and sport.