Perdita Felicien

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Perdita Felicien
Perdita Felicien TK cropped.jpg
Personal information
Nationality Canadian
Born (1980-08-29) 29 August 1980 (age 33)
Pickering, Ontario
Height 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Weight 140 pounds (64 kg)
Sport
Sport 100 m hurdles
Turned pro 2003
Retired October 24, 2013[1]
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s) 100 m hurdles: 12.46 NR, Eugene, 2004
Updated on July 2012.

Perdita Felicien (born August 29, 1980 in Pickering, Ontario) is a retired Canadian hurdler. Felicien is a former world champion in the 100 m hurdles and multiple medalist at both the indoor and outdoor world championships. She has won two silver medals at the Pan American Games in the event as well. The Canadian record in 100 m hurdles was set in 2004 and continues to be held by Felicien today. She was the first Canadian woman to ever win a medal at the World Championships.

Early life[edit]

Felicien carries her mother's maiden name, whose origins are in the Caribbean island nation of Saint Lucia. Her mother named her "Perdita" after a contestant on the television game show, The Price is Right.

Felicien grew up in Pickering, Ontario, where, as a student, she began competing in track and field events at her school. She was motivated to join her school's track and field team after receiving an Award of Excellence in the Canada Fitness Award Program in grade 3.[2][3] At first, she competed in the 100m dash, inspired by Donovan Bailey and Bruni Surin of Canada, 200m dash and Long Jump. Felicien dedicated herself to hurdling at Pine Ridge Secondary School and won the Ontario high-school hurdling championship in 1998. That year she added the first of two consecutive Canadian junior championships. Her performance at a scholastic meet in Ohio brought offers of athletic scholarships from a number of U.S. universities from which she chose the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she enrolled in the study of kinesiology.

Career[edit]

Coached by Gary Winckler, in her first year competing at the university level, Perdita Felicien earned All-American honors and in the 100m hurdles set the record for the fastest time by a freshman in NCAA history for the event. The following year she was ranked No. 1 in the 100 m hurdles by the NCAA for the entire outdoor season and was the first Illinois athlete to ever win a national championship during both the indoor and outdoor seasons. Her performance earned her the first of three consecutive University of Illinois Female Athlete of the Year awards and she was voted the U.S. Track Coaches Association National Female Outdoor Athlete of the Year.

An undefeated Perdita Felicien won her second consecutive 100 m hurdles national title in 2003 en route to becoming the first University of Illinois female athlete to be named the Big Ten Conference "Athlete of the Year" while earning NCAA Female Track & Field Athlete of the Year honors. Felicien blossomed into a major force on the international scene in hurdling, topping off her season by winning the women's 100 m Hurdles Final at the 2003 World Championships in Athletics in Paris, France. With her win, Felicien became Canada's first ever female world gold medallist and the first female in Illinois track & field history to win a gold medal in an individual event at the World Championships. She was named Canada's female athlete of the year – the first track athlete to capture that honor in 25 years.

A much-anticipated showdown with hurdling great Gail Devers took place in March 2004, Perdita Felicien set a new record in defeating the three-time hurdles world champion in the 60 m hurdle final at the 2004 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Budapest, Hungary. She chalked up six straight wins leading up to the Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, where she was expected to win gold in the 100 m hurdles on August 24, especially after Devers pulled out with an injury. Unexpectedly, in the event final, Felicien failed to clear the first hurdle and fell into the adjacent lane knocking down the Russian competitor, Irina Shevchenko and taking her out of the race and a chance at an olympic medal, much to the obvious dismay of Shevchenko.

Felicien returned to the track, and had some success, winning medals at the world championships, alongside her teammate Priscilla Lopes-Schliep. In 2007, she won a silver medal at the world championships in the 100 metre hurdles.

At the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China, Felicien did not compete due to a foot injury. In August 2008, Felicien was a guest commentator for CBC Television's 2008 Olympics coverage of hurdles.[4]

During the summer of 2011, Felicien relocated to the University of Calgary in Alberta to train under the tutelage of former national team head coach, Les Gramantik and her old coach, Gary Winckler. She also partnered with Jessica Zelinka, ranked the sixth-best heptathlete in the world. In June 2012, Felicien failed to qualify for the Canadian Olympic team for the 2012 London Olympics. She had finished third in the 2012 Canadian Olympic trials for track and field, in the 100m hurdles event, under protest. However, she false started, and was disqualified.[5]

Felicien retired from competition in 2013.[6] She went back to school to study journalism, and is now a writer/reporter with CHCH News in Hamilton, Ontario.

Charity[edit]

Perdita is a proud supporter of Count Me In, the largest youth-run organization in Canada. She spoke to at the 2013 Count Me In Conference in Toronto, inspiring thousands of students to get involved in their communities through volunteerism.

Perdita is also an active ambassador for Right To Play.

Track & Field accomplishments[edit]

2011

2010

  • World Indoor Silver Medalist
  • 60m hurdles 7.86
  • Drake Relays Hall of Fame Inductee
  • Continental Cup Bronze Medalist

2009

  • Canadian National Champion
  • World Championship Finalist

2008

  • Injured

2007

  • 2007 IAAF World Championships Silver Medalist 100m hurdles-12.49
  • Pan Am Games Silver Medalist
  • Canadian Track and Field Athlete of the Year
  • 2007 Ontario Female Athlete of the Year

2005

  • Canadian National Champion
  • World Championship Semi-Finalist

2004

  • World Indoor Champion in the 60 m hurdles
  • Olympic Finalist
  • Canadian National Champion
  • City of Pickering Civic Award
  • Canadian Track and Field Athlete of the Year

2003

  • World Champion in the 100 m hurdles
  • Big Ten Champion in the 60 m and 100 m hurdles
  • Drake Relays Most Outstanding Athlete
  • Canadian Female Athlete of the Year
  • Canadian Track and Field Athlete of the Year
  • Canadian National Champion
  • Pan Am Games Silver Medalist
  • University of Illinois Athlete of the Year
  • Big Ten Conference Athlete of the Year

2002

  • NCAA Champion in the 100 m hurdles
  • University of Illinois Female Athlete of the Year
  • Drake Relays Most Outstanding Athlete
  • NCAA Record holder in the 60 m hurdles, 7.90 seconds
  • NCAA Champion in the 60 m hurdles
  • Big Ten Champion in the 60 m hurdles
  • All-American in the 60 m hurdles
  • Canadian National Champion
  • University of Illinois Female Athlete of the Year

2001

  • All-American in the 100 m hurdles
  • All-American in the 60 m hurdles
  • USTCA National Female Athlete of the Year
  • Big Ten Female Outdoor Athlete of the Year
  • University of Illinois Female Athlete of the Year
  • Big Ten Indoor Freshman of the Year
  • World Track and Field Championship Semifinalist
  • Francophone Games Champion
  • University of Illinois Female Athlete of the Year

2000

  • Olympian
  • Big Ten Outdoor Freshman of the Year
  • All-American in the 100 m hurdles
  • Canadian National Champion

1999

  • Canadian Junior Champion 100mh

1998

  • Canadian Junior Champion 100mh
  • OFSAA 100mh Record Holder-13.41
  • 1998 OFSAA Champion 100mh
  • 1998 OFSAA Silver 100m
  • 1998 OFSAA Champion 200m-24.67

1997 OFSAA Silver Medalist 100m

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Canadian hurdler Perdita Felicien announces retirement". ctvnews.ca. 2013-10-24. Retrieved 2013-10-25. 
  2. ^ Grove, Jim (16 June 2012). "Perdita Felicien: Olympic Track and Field, 100m Hurdles". Active for Life. 
  3. ^ "Felicien tells Reding students of Right to Play's impact overseas". Milton Canadian Champion (Metroland). 20 February 2013. 
  4. ^ CBC Television, Olympic Morning, 19 Aug 2008
  5. ^ Dave Feschuk (30 June 2012). "London 2012: Zelinka wins, Felicien and Lopes-Schliep fail to qualify at Olympic trials". Toronto Star. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
  6. ^ http://sports.nationalpost.com/2013/10/24/canadian-olympic-hurdler-perdita-felicien-calls-it-quits-on-tumultuous-career/