Michelle Stilwell

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Michelle Stilwell
Michelle Stilwell - 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships.jpg
Michelle Stilwell at the 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships.
MLA for Parksville-Qualicum
Assumed office
Preceded by Ron Cantelon
Personal details
Political party Liberal
Michelle Stilwell
Medal record
Competitor for  Canada
Paralympic Games
Women's basketball
Gold 2000 Sydney Wheelchair Basketball
Women's athletics
Gold 2008 Beijing 100 m T52
Gold 2008 Beijing 200 m T52
Gold 2012 London 200 m T52
Silver 2012 London 100 m T52

Michelle Stilwell (born July 4, 1974 in Winnipeg, Manitoba) is a Canadian wheelchair racer and politician. She is the only female Paralympic athlete to have ever won gold in two separate summer sport events. Stilwell was elected to the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia as a BC Liberal candidate for Parksville-Qualicum in the 2013 provincial election.[1]

In Sydney, during the 2000 Paralympic games, she and her team won Gold in wheelchair basketball [2] by beating Australia in the final 46-27. At the time, she was the only female paraplegic to compete in Basketball at the Paralympic Games. In Beijing, she won two gold medals in the woman's T52 200m[3] and 100m[4] events.

At the London 2012 Paralympic Games Stilwell defended her Paralympic gold medal in the women’s 200m in 33.80 seconds,[5] shattering her Games record by over two seconds. Four days later Stilwell captured a silver medal in the 100m.

She currently holds the world record in the 100m at 18.67[6] and the 200m at 33.58[7] and the 400m at 1:05.41[8] in the T52 class.


Stilwell, whose father is from Stuttgart and mother from the small community of Ashern, Manitoba, in Manitoba's Interlake region, was injured while piggy back riding on a friend at the age of 17, she fell down a flight of stairs and broke her neck. Multiple surgeries and complications (Osteomyelitis and acquired Arnold–Chiari malformation) arose from the fall leaving her an incomplete C7 quadriplegic. She grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba and attended River East Collegiate before her first years at the University of Winnipeg. She moved to Calgary where she completed her Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Calgary.

She represented Canada at the Sydney 2000 Summer Paralympics, where she won gold in wheelchair basketball. After her retirement from basketball competition in 2001 she became involved in coaching young wheelchair athletes, became pregnant and gave birth to her son Kai in July 2001.

In 2004 while coaching basketball she met Peter Lawless, a National Team Athletics coach, who encouraged her to try a different sport. By 2005 she was at the European Championships, and in 2006 a 200m World Champion at Assen, Netherlands.

She attained greater success on the track winning gold in the 100m and 200m at the Beijing 2008 Summer Paralympics.  This was followed by 3 gold (with World Championship records) and one Silver at the 2011 World Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand.


  1. ^ "Paralympian, former Winnipegger Stilwell wins B.C. seat". Winnipeg Free Press, May 15, 2013.
  2. ^ "Sydney 2000 Gold Medal Women's Team". Retrieved 2008-10-21. 
  3. ^ "B.C.'s Stilwell breaks Paralympic record in women's 200". CBC News. 2008-09-11. Retrieved 2008-10-21. 
  4. ^ "Canadian track star Stilwell takes 2nd Paralympic gold". CBC News. Retrieved 2008-10-21. 
  5. ^ "B.C. wheelchair sprinter Michelle Stilwell defends Paralympic title in 200". The Canadian Press. 2012-09-01. Retrieved 2012-09-01. 
  6. ^ "Local Sports Roundup". Windsor Star. 2012-07-16. Retrieved 2012-07-16. 
  7. ^ "LA-SM Rollstuhlsport Nottwil". Swiss Paraplegic Association. 2012-05-19. Retrieved 2012-05-19. 
  8. ^ "Athletics Australia Results". 2012-02-18. Retrieved 2012-02-18.