The Défi sportif is a multi-sport event for disabled athletes. The Défi sportif is unique in that it involves athletes of the five types of disabilities: auditory, physical, psychiatric, intellectual, and visual as well as athletes of all levels: from students, to up-and-coming athletes and Paralympic athletes from different countries participate. The Défi sportif is held every year in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The main site is Montreal's Complexe sportif Claude-Robillard, but other sites in Montreal are used, such as Centre Pierre-Charbonneau, Collège de Maisonneuve, Mount Royal, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, etc.
The first Défi sportif opened on April 19, 1984, under the auspices of the organization known as the Regional Association for the Recreation of Disabled Persons of the Island of Montreal. The inaugural Défi sportif welcomed no less than 720 athletes competing in 16 different sports at three sites. In fact, it is the first time that associations representing all five types of disability gather to participate at one sporting event.
One of the events goals was to be self-financing. To that end the business community was approached and my the event's second year, numerous patrons, partners and sponsors lent their support and popular Quebec humorist Yvon Deschamps signed on as spokesman, a role he would play for the next fifteen years.
In 1986 the Défi sportif was named "Sporting Event of the Year" by the Montréal-Concordia Sports Commission.
The Défi sportif was originally a provincial event, but by 1989, more and more sports clubs from outside Quebec sent participants, and in the early 1990s, the Défi sportif went officially international with athletes Canada, the United States and France.
In 2005, the Défi sportif welcomed some 2700 athletes over five days of competition. Its official spokespeople included wheelchair athlete Chantal Petitclerc.
In 2006, the Défi sportif welcomed some 2800 athletes over its run from April 26 to 30. Its official spokespeople once again included Petitclerc.
Competitions in the following sports are held at the Défi sportif:
- Ball hockey
- Hand cycling
- Rhythmic gymnastics
- Tandem cycling
- Track and field
- Wheelchair basketball
- Wheelchair fencing
- Wheelchair road racing
- Wheelchair rugby