Colette Bourgonje’s long list of sporting accomplishments explains why she is one of the most celebrated Paralympic athletes in our country’s history. Colette has the rare distinction of being the only Canadian female athlete to compete in both Summer and Winter Paralympic Games and the first to medal in dual events.
Between the years 1992 and 2000, Colette participated in seven Paralympic Winter Games and three Paralympic Summer Games winning ten medals. Highlights of her Paralympic achievements include Bronze medals in the 100-metre and 800-metre wheelchair races in 1992 in Barcelona, a Silver medal in the ten-kilometre and a Bronze medal in the five-kilometre Para Nordic sit-ski race in Vancouver in 2010, making her the first Canadian athlete ever to win a Paralympic Winter Games medal on home soil. At the closing ceremonies in Vancouver, she was awarded the prestigious Whang Youn Dai Achievement Award, recognizing her extraordinary efforts to overcome adversity while pursuing excellence in sport.
Colette remains a mentor and role model for youth with disabilities and an ambassador for Saskatchewan’s In Motion program, promoting the importance of daily physical activity for all people. In addition, to honouring her Métis heritage, Colette also endeavours to empower and coach young Indigenous athletes in her home province encouraging them to reach their full potential.