Pj grabbed a quick pic with Canadian Track legend Perdita Felicien.

Pj grabbed a quick pic with Canadian Track legend Perdita Felicien.

If you know me at all – you will know that I am more of a fan of sports’ people than simply a sports’ fan.

Perdita Felicien is without a doubt one of the coolest people I have met in a long time. She is an amazing athlete in Hurdles for starters, take two world titles and a Canadian record as examples. You would forgive anybody with her kind of credentials for being full of themselves but this is not the case with Perdita. She is grounded, humble, articulate and has a great sense of humour.

I caught Perdita out of the corner of my eye on the CBC Sports’ set and introduced myself albeit nervously. I was so sure that I wouldn’t get the chance to talk to her again that I asked if she would pose for a picture with me – making hay while the sun shines and all that – and I was without make-up!

Hoping that I would be able to convince her to let me do a blog about her and maybe even a podcast, I approached her again once she was finished (and my make-up was done). There was no “let’s get my people to call your people” to arrange things – she simply said yes and gave me her contact information.

Perdita Felicien is a big deal in my mind. What distinguishes her from other ‘big deals’ is that she has an honesty about her life and what has happened in it that is frankly astonishing.

Felicien is a two-time Olympian in 2000 and 2004. In 2008, she had to settle for commentating for CBC on what would have been her race had she not been injured. In 2012, she tried to make the Olympic team and fell short.

She wrote about it in a blog called Gold Mettle on her website www.perditafelicien.com :

Gold Mettle


With all my heart I wanted my post Olympic trials blog to be the happiest blog I’ve penned so far this year. It won’t be. But it won’t be a sad blog either, so no need to pass the tissue.

If you’re on this site, you probably follow track enough to know I won’t be making the trip to London.  And this reality has set in for a few weeks now.

It sucks and it stings.

In fact in the days immediately following trials I got so many Olympic emails from the COC and Athletics Canada that I wanted to pick up the phone, find a public defender and see how quickly I could send cease and desist orders!

Really?!….but I digress.

I never saw myself not being on this Olympic team, frankly in twelve years I’ve never not qualified for a major championship and the pride of representing my country.

It feels unusual, surreal and it’s a great disappointment.

As much as this is a personal challenge for me, I know it’s also a fact of life. Shit happens. Yes, more than once; even more than twice.

I’ve always known you don’t accomplish all you set out to do in this sport, but it’s never made me afraid to try. It has never made me second guess getting back up after every knock down or putting the frailty of being human on display for all to see.

I signed up for this and it’s still the time of my life, therefore I choose to accept everything that happens during this formidable chapter in it.

I don’t believe in luck. Good or bad. But I do believe in something John Wooden once said:

“Things work out best for those who make the best of the way things work out.”


I wont ever be an Olympic Champion and that sucks, because I have worked my ass off to become one for decades. I believed in the Olympic ideal so much, that I read it’s poetic manifesto aloud from an Athenian balcony for all to hear.


I’ve dreamed the biggest dream imaginable for myself, and I’ve had the sweetest honor humanly possible in pursing it. Yes it’s broken my heart into a million pieces, but funny it has also been the glue that could put it back together again.

Thankfully there have been many high points, moments of  absolute triumph and glee that had me so giddy I thought I would burst. I would trade a thousand disappointments, no question, for one moment like this.

This journey has showed me who I am, and who I always want to be: me. In victory and even more so in defeat.  Races don’t define me, but attitude does. I choose to be positive, I choose to be happy and I choose to move forward.

Thanks to everyone who has reached out. It’s been a pleasure to know I haven’t been taking this walk alone. Some of the messages I’ve received, especially from young girls and moms has made me cry tears of gratitude. Thank you for sharing.

***Now, before my tears short circuit my keyboard or worse yet, shock me, I’m wrapping this up.

Thank you for reading! Now let’s cheer on Team Canada!!

L?ve P

In a word, Perdita Felicien is a champion. From all of the work she has done on the track to differentiate herself to all of the charity work she does off the track to make a difference; she is a remarkable person.

Perdita Felicien is on Twitter @PerditaFelicien and will be featured on a Podcast soon in my new Podcast series at www.openkwongdore.com.