Michelle Stilwell, B.C. MLA, Wins Gold At Paralympic Games With Record Time

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Michelle Stilwell of Canada celebrates after winning the gold medal in the event. | Jason Cairnduff / Reuters

RIO DE JANEIRO — Canadian wheelchair racer Michelle Stilwell added another Paralympic title to her illustrious resume.

The 42-year-old from Parksville, B.C., sped to victory in the T52 400 metres on Saturday, for her fifth career Paralympic gold medal, and the second for Canada's track and field team at these Games.

Stilwell crossed in a Paralympic Games record of one minute 5.43 seconds.

Canada's Brent Lakatos won the wheelchair 100 metres a night earlier.

Stilwell, who's also a Member of the Legislative Assembly in B.C., is only the second female Paralympic athlete to have ever won gold in two separate summer sport events. She has four track gold medals, plus was a member of Canada's wheelchair basketball team that claimed gold in 2000 in Sydney.

The world record-holder in the 100 metres will also race that distance at these Games.

Stilwell was paralyzed at the age of 17 when she was riding piggyback with a friend and fell backwards, hitting her neck on a stair.

Canada's Stefan Daniel also climbed on the medal podium on Saturday, racing to a silver medal in the inaugural triathlon.

The 19-year-old from Calgary moved up from fourth to second with a terrific 5K run. Daniel, who has a bilateral radial club hands, is also a strong able-bodied athlete and competes in cross-country for the University of Calgary's track team.


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