Paralympian, World Cup Medalist, Para-Snowboarding
“When you feel the worst and try your hardest, you gain the most.”
From an early age, Michelle always had a passion for sports. Her parents ran a local luge track and when she was eight years old, she used to slide down it trying not to hit a frozen hay bale. She discovered snowboarding at 13 and her goal was to become a professional snowboarder. A near-fatal motorcycle accident in 2011 resulted in the amputation of her right leg above the knee.
While she was in the hospital recovering, a family friend found a Terry Fox quarter in his pocket and thought it was a sign that Michelle was destined to continue on in sports as an amputee. Just 5 weeks after her accident, Michelle competed in her first adaptive fitness competition.
Michelle joined Canada’s National team and just one year later she was a member of Canada’s first ever Paralympic Games snowboard team in 2014. She was the only Canadian in the women’s competition and achieved ninth place in the snowboard cross. In 2015, she became a National Champion and she also placed third in the 2015 Canadian World Cup.
This is Michelle’s third year as an Athlete Mentor! She celebrated her first World Cup podium with her students during the 2014-15 school year, and during the 2015-16 school year she rode a snowboard with a decal designed by a student from one of her Calgary classes.
Fun Fact: Michelle was a huge fan of all the Dr. Seuss books growing up!