Toronto – Two-time Olympian, two-time World Champion and two-time World Championship silver medalist Perdita Felicien of Pickering, Ont., officially announced her retirement from athletics this morning at a special event with 300 kids at George Webster Elementary School in Toronto, Ont.
“The last 13 years racing for Canada have been the most formidable years of my life”, explained Perdita Felicien to the crowd of wide eyed children, and throngs of friends, family and supporters. “They were a sobering cocktail of triumph, heartbreak and perseverance. I always thought when my retirement came, that I would feel sad. Instead I stand fiercely proud of all that I achieved and I feel a massive sense of honour in representing such a beautiful nation.” Felicien adds, “I want to thank everyone who believed in me and cheered loudly, it was a thrilling ride, thanks for taking it with me.”
Following the announcement Perdita talked to the kids at George Webster Elementary about the importance of a lifelong commitment to a healthy active lifestyle and about her experiences in tackling adversity, something she dealt with admirably throughout her decorated career.
Felicien retires as the Canadian record holder in both the 100-metre hurdles and 60-metre hurdles, a 10-time Canadian Champion (2000, 2002-2007, 2009-2011), a two-time Olympian (2000, 2004), a two-time World Champion (2003, 2004-indoor), a two-time World Championship silver medalist (2007, 2010-indoor), a two-time Pan American Games silver medalist (2003, 2007) and a three-time NCAA Champion. She qualified and competed in eight World Championships over a ten year span (2001-2011).
“This is not the end for Athletics Canada and Perdita”, noted Athletics Canada’s Chief Executive Officer Rob Guy. “She is not only an exceptional athlete, but a great ambassador for the sport. We look forward to continue working with Perdita in encouraging our youth to become active, and achieve their athletic goals whatever they may be.” Guy adds, “While her World Championship performances were certainly a highlight for our program, her accomplishments off the track were of equal value.”
Perdita is also an Athlete Ambassador for Right to Play and has been involved in Athletics Canada’s Hershey’s Track and Field Games grassroots program. She recently earned a post graduate certificate from Seneca College in Broadcast Journalism and will begin a new adventure as a videographer for Hamilton’s CHCH.