A spokesperson of the Défi sportif AlterGo for 21 years, Senator Chantal Petitclerc embodies determination, commitment, and perseverance. Her capacity to overcome obstacles and discipline led her to receive 21 Paralympic medals – including 14 gold medals – throughout her athletic career. She is a source of inspiration for students as well as business leaders. Her conferences on motivation show her desire to promote everyone’s ability to tackle obstacles and follow their dreams. Chantal Peticlerc is a world-class ambassador for the promotion of justice and equality for all. She constantly works to ensure that the rights of people with functional limitations are respected, and that they are able to go beyond their limits and fully develop their potential.
A spokesperson of the Défi sportif AlterGo for 20 years, Jean-Marie Lapointe has motivated hundreds of young athletes with functional limitations. He uses his communication skills to shine a light on disabled people’s potential. Being a talented artist, he knows how to win people’s hearts, an essential factor for changing attitudes. Apart from representing Défi sportif AlterGo, Jean-Marie Lapointe assists youth who struggle with drugs or who have eating disorders. He also works in palliative care with youth and their families. Jean-Marie is also passionately vocal when it comes to making the reality of homeless people be known. He is a dynamic ambassador for social inclusion in all its aspects.
Hugo Girard has been a special guest at Défi sportif AlterGo for 5 consecutive years, including 3 as ambassador. He has always been passionate about sports. At a young age, he committed to powerlifting. During his athletic career, he won many titles, including Canadian champion from 1999 to 2004 and North American champion in 2001 and 2002. Hugo continues to promote the benefits of training and excelling oneself by giving conferences throughout Quebec. For many years, he has been the spokesperson for BMR. He is also the host of several TV shows, such as “À vos risques et périls”, “Les Rénos d’Hugo”, and “BBQ Non Stop”.
34 years old
Mélanie Labelle is the only woman on the Canadian wheelchair rugby team. She discovered the sport after suffering a spinal cord injury from a fall while dancing the swing in March 2016. During her rehabilitation, she was introduced to wheelchair rugby when a local club, Les Machines de Montréal, came to the Centre de rehabilitation Lucie-Bruneau to demonstrate the sport.
In the fall of 2016, Mélanie decided to join this Montréal club and started training on a regular basis. This allowed her to progress quickly, participate in tournaments across Canada and represent Quebec at the 2018 Canadian Wheelchair Rugby Championship, to name but one.
Mélanie’s strong performances on the field caught the attention of the Canadian team coaches and in March 2019, she was selected as a member of the national team program. This is certainly an incredible accomplishment for someone who, at the time, had only been playing the sport for 2 years. You can witness her remarkable skills at Défi sportif AlterGo during the Canadian Wheelchair Rugby Championship, which will take place from May 1st to 3rd at Patro le Prévost.
29 years old
Alison Levine is ranked #1 in the world in boccia’s BC4 category. She is known for her exceptional strength and how rapidly she progressed in the sport. She discovered boccia through her teammate in the BC4 category, Marco Dispaltro. She was born in perfect health and around the age of 12, began to show symptoms of idiopathic muscular dystrophy. Prior to her involvement in boccia, Alison tried her hand at wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby and competitive horseback riding. Being a Paralympic athlete allows her to break down barriers to achieve her goals, gives her the courage to be her best and gives her a sense of pride regardless of her condition. During the 2019 Défi sportif AlterGo, Alison won a gold medal at the BISFed World Open. This year, she will defend her title from April 26th to 30th at Place Bell in Laval.
23 years old
No doubt you’ve seen Woody Belfort in social media. Born with spastic graduation-a type of cerebral palsy-Woody regularly posts videos of his accomplishments. Fearless, he breaks down barriers and wants to prove that he is not limited by his disability by performing extraordinary feats! Whether it’s performing on the trapeze, climbing or weight training (while still in his wheelchair), Woody has people talking. He was invited to appear on such programs as Radio-Canada’s Tout le monde en parle and the Steve Harvey Show on American television.
In addition to bodybuilding, he also plays wheelchair basketball. In fact, he has been participating in the Défi sportif AlterGo wheelchair basketball tournament since he was very young. You can see him in action in 2020 from May 1st to 3rd at the Centre sportif Édouard-Montpetit in Longueuil.
Matthieu Croteau Daigle
32 years old
Matthieu Croteau Daigle is a high-level para-cycling athlete with atypical retinitis pigmentosa, a visual impairment.
During his first participation in Défi sportif AlterGo in 2013, Matthieu won the silver medal in the international road race event. His new tandem bike pilot, Michel Jean, is participating for the first time in Défi sportif AlterGo in 2020. Thanks to their chemistry, they will attempt to reach the top rankings during the para-cycling competitions that will take place on May 2nd and 3rd at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve.
16 years old
Rosalie is a determined teenager who has an autism spectrum disorder and a visual impairment. Despite her disability, she does not set any limits to her abilities and participates in several sports. She has been participating in Défi sportif AlterGo for several years in the track and field category at the Mackay Centre. She is also part of the Special Olympics basketball team. Rosalie is not only a great athlete but also a remarkable student. In 2016, she was invited by the City of Montréal to sign the guest book for her academic perseverance. In 2017, she was honoured by the Quebec National Assembly for her involvement as a volunteer.
This year, she will be in action at the Défi sportif AlterGo parahockey tournament on May 2nd and 3rd at the Howie-Morenz arena in Montréal.
Adam Forest Espinal
9 years old
Adam tried out several sports before finding the one that suited him best: CrossFit. He’s a kid who loves to move; he plays para hockey and participates in track and field. Sociable and resourceful, Adam is gifted in mathematics; no wonder he’s good with computers! He is also exceptionally determined. He was born prematurely and spent several months in the hospital. He had to undergo 4 surgeries before he was even allowed to go home. This means he has had to overcome barriers from the moment he was born.
Adam has a hearing impairment and is easy to spot with his colourful hearing aids. He has been participating in Défi sportif AlterGo for a few years now. This year, he will face the CrossFit trials on April 27th at the Complexe sportif Claude-Robillard.