Description: In April 1980, with her high school graduation just around the corner, Colette Bourgonje was a small-town girl with big dreams. Her family’s home in Porcupine Plain, Saskatchewan was already filled with her medals, trophies, and records of success in track and field, basketball, volleyball, and badminton. She had attracted attention from university coaches and was on the road to becoming a world-class athlete. Then a car accident changed her life – forever.
Before long, Colette had come to terms with her new reality as a paraplegic and had set her sights on new dreams. In 1984, she became the first disabled student to graduate from the College of Physical Education at the University of Saskatchewan and the first female in a wheelchair to graduate in Physical Education from a Canadian university. At age 30, she competed in France at her first Paralympic Games. During the next two decades, she travelled the world and became one of Canada’s most successful disabled athletes – a 10-time Paralympian, mentor, teacher, and role model in sport and in life.
ISBN ePub 978-1-927570-777; 28 photos; © 2010. Updated 2022; Ages 9 and up; Nonfiction; Canadian Paralympian; Sport; Health care; Cross-country sit skiing; Sociology; Education; Saskatchewan author; Canadian.
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About the Author: Mary Harelkin Bishop is an award-winning author of numerous bestselling juvenile historical fiction books. She has been a teacher, a teacher-librarian, and an educational/ instructional consultant with Saskatoon Public Schools, having spent more than half her career working in core neighbourhood schools and First Nations schools. She resides in Saskatoon and has worked on writing projects with elementary schools in Saskatoon as well as mentoring adult writers and doing author presentations. Mary has taught a master’s class in Canadian Children’s Literature at the University of Saskatchewan and literature classes for SUNTEP (Saskatoon Urban Native Teacher Education Program) through the Gabriel Dumont Institute.
Responses from Readers:
- “Colette is so inspiring. Thank you for writing her story.”
- “She is such a role model.”
- “I didn’t know this about Paralympic athletes.”
- ”Great book! Loved it.”