This week's challenge was a no brainer for me. It is the perfect oportunity for me to honour my dear friend Michelle Stillwell.
We met when Michelle became my client some 15 years ago, a relationship that since then has grown into a treasured friendship.
Michelle is an Para Olympian and will take part in her 3rd Olympics in London.
The photo inset is Michelle and me as I wear one of her Olympic Gold medals. Yes she has won multiple gold.
Michelle is a source of inspiration for anyone battling personal disabilities, including Mrs. Jomoud. Her motto is "Never give up"
Her bio below may give you inspiration as well::
At the age of 17 Michelle was rendered quadriplegic after falling from a friends back while piggyback riding. Prior to her injury Michelle was involved in many sports. She excelled at track, basketball and ringette. Her injury has not put a stop to her enjoyment of these sports…just a few alterations.
A gold medalist at the 2000 Paralympic Games in Wheelchair Basketball, Michelle Stilwell is no stranger to athletic success. However, Michelle was forced to quit basketball shortly after the games due to complications arising from her spinal cord injury. Despite this, rather than give up, she moved to a whole new sport and channeled her competitive drive and passion for sport into making one of the most meteoric rises for any Canadian athlete ever—going from a novice Wheelchair racer to World champion in just two years. In fact, in 2006 she won a Gold medal and set a new games record at the World Championships in the 200m and captured silver in the 100m.
In 2007, 2009, and 2010 Michelle won the women’s quad division at the Vancouver Sun Run 10k and the Victoria Times Colonist 10k but her specialty lies in sprints where she won numerous track and field competitions in the 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m events. In May of 2008, just seven weeks post surgery Michelle broke the World Record in both the 100m and 200m. Four months later success was found again in Beijing at the Paralympic Games where Michelle found herself on top of the podium for the 100m and 200m events breaking Paralympic Records in both. Most recently Michelle brought home 3 Gold medals and a Silver from the IPC World Championships in New Zealand. An incredible comeback after major spine surgery just 5 months prior.
Michelle is extremely dedicated to training, bringing her competitive drive to athletics after an extremely successful international career in Wheelchair Basketball. She manages to juggle full time child rearing and homeschooling, marriage and the training required to compete at the international level. Michelle actively speaks about the stages of her life, the circumstances that brought her to become a wheelchair athlete, her major victories, and her minor disappointments. Her words to live by are “Remove self-imposed limitations – anything is possible with a positive attitude.” She is an ambassador for the Canadian Paralympic Association, ActNow BC and the Rick Hansen Foundation.
Michelle is again a member of the Canadian 2012 Paralympic Team and will compete at the upcoming Games in London, England.