Perdita Felicien, track and field hurdler (born 29 August 1980 in Oshawa, ON). Perdita Felicien is one of Canada's premier athletes, being the first Canadian woman to win an individual medal in track at the world championship level and named to three Canadian Olympic teams.
Felicien began running track at age seven, and during her elementary years won numerous regional competitions. She began hurdling at age 14, but found it mentally taxing and preferred sprint track events. She continued in her sport in high school, where she took national titles and set several provincial hurdle records. She won a scholarship to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where she won three NCAA titles and set several records in the 60m and 100m hurdles.
In 2000, Felicien won her first Canadian championship.
Felicien competed for Canada at the Olympic Games for the first time in 2000, but did not win a medal. She won her first world championship in 2003. She followed that performance with a silver medal at the Pan-American Games, after which she was named outstanding Canadian athlete of the year (track) and the NCAA female track athlete of the year.
At the 2004 Olympics, the recent university graduate was among the favourites to win gold, but she fell in the final. She was named for the third time to the Canadian team for the 2008 Olympics, but in July 2008 was forced to withdraw from the team due to a stress fracture; instead, she spent the Beijing Olympics as an analyst with CBC. In 2010, Felicien won a silver medal at the World Indoor Championships. Her 2011 gold medal at the Canadian Nationals was her tenth Canadian championship.
Felicien failed to qualify to compete for Canada at the 2012 Olympics in London.
Since the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, Felicien has been an elected member of the Canadian Olympic Committee's (COC) Athletes' Commission. She is an athlete ambassador for the non-profit group Right to Play, a United Nations Canada Sport-in-a-Box Ambassador, and an RBC After-School Program Partner. She is also a motivational speaker, sharing her triumphs and travails with others.