Induction to BC Sports Hall of Fame

Michelle Stilwell, the seven-time Paralympic medalist and world record-holder who serves as MLA for Parksville-Qualicum, was selected Wednesday for induction into the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame.

Stilwell is part of a 2017 induction class of 11 athletes and one team. The 51st induction class will be formally inducted into the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame April 12, 2017, at the annual Banquet of Champions at the Vancouver Convention Centre West.

“This is one of the greatest honours of my sporting career,” Stilwell said of her selection. “I have had the privilege to represent Canada at multiple international competitions, always striving for excellence, and always pushing myself further than I thought I could. But it hasn’t been without the love and support of my family, coach, friends and Canadians alike that have all been a part of my success.”

Among the inductees are Stilwell’s former wheelchair basketball coach, Tim Frick, who was selected in the Builder/Coach category. Frick, who now lives in Parksville, was born in the U.K. and raised in Port Alberni.

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Stilwell Strikes Gold Again

Canadian wheelchair racer Michelle Stilwell claimed her second gold medal at the Rio Paralympics on Saturday, winning the women's 100-metre event.

The 42-year-old from Parksville, B.C., beat American Kelly Morgan and Belgium's Marieke Vervoort to take top spot in 19.42 seconds, which is a new Paralympic record.

Stilwell, who also holds the world record in the 100, now has six career Paralympic gold medals. She won her first race of the Games a week ago in the 400. 

Stilwell is only the second female Paralympian to have won gold in two separate summer sports, having been part of Canada's gold-medal winning wheelchair basketball team in Sydney. Complications to her spinal cord injury forced her to switch to track after the Games in 2000. 

Stilwell isn't sure what her immediate racing future holds, but she's learned to approach every race like it's her last.

"I do that every time, because you never know," Stilwell said. "And I think that's really what it's about for everyone. No matter if you're Paralympian or able-bodied, you can have a life-changing injury.

"In an instant your life changes. And so I think I try and enjoy every moment. And have fun."

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MLA Stilwell returns with three gold, two records

Returning home a champion is nothing new for Michelle Stilwell, but this time it was different.

The Parksville-Qualicum MLA landed at the Nanaimo Airport Monday after regaining her wheelchair racing crown, but with an uncertain future in the sport.

She earned gold in the T52 classification 200, 400 and 800-metre races at the International Paralympic Committee 2013 Athletics World Championships in Lyon, France. She set a world record in the 800 (2:14.79) and a championship record in the 200 (35.71). Biggest of all, she regained her status as the most dominant athlete in her sport, after she lost for the first time in the 100 metres at the 2012 London Paralympic Summer Games.

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Record keeps falling

Canada’s Michelle Stilwell and Australia’s Rheed McCracken set unofficial world records this week at Australia’s Summer Down Under Series.

At the Canberra Track Meet, Stilwell unofficially broke her own 200m T52 world record with a new top time of 33.19.  This is an incredible start to the season taking off over ½ second from her previous record. 

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"19" Barrier Falls for the T52 100m

It was another world record for Stilwell and she clocked in at 18.75s in Nottwil Switzerland during the Swiss Nationals on the newly laid mondo track. "This shows that the resources I am utilizing to prepare for London have been very effective. It felt amazing to break the 19 second barrier as that has been one of my targets for a long time."

Stilwell breaks TC10k course record for T52

Three-time Canadian Paralympic gold medalist Michelle Stilwell of Parksville breaks course record at the 2012 TC10K in Victoria. On Sunday, the 37-year-old was the first woman wheelchair racer to sprinted across the finish line in a time of 30 minutes 53 seconds. She broke the course record in her division and also posted a personal best time. "I didn't set my watch," said Stilwell, who has raced the TC10K five times. "I just wanted to go out, push hard and not worry about time and look what happened." Kip Kangogo was the overall winner of the race in a time of 29.51. 

Stilwell Wins 7th Consecutive Sun Run with New CR

Three-time Canadian Paralympic gold medalist Michelle Stilwell of Parksville is back in the record books. On Sunday, at the 28th Annual Vancouver Sun Run Stilwell crossed the finish line in 32:39 setting a new course record by almost a minute. Stilwell was also the first female across the line ahead of Anjali Forber Pratt of the United States of America. 

Stilwell Smashes 400m World Record

Three-time Canadian Paralympic gold medalist Michelle Stilwell of Parksville is back in the record books. On Sunday, the 37-year-old wheelchair racer smashed the world record in the T52 400-metre event at the Summer Down Under 2012 International Track and Road Racing Series in Canberra. Earlier in the day, Stilwell raced the 100m event in a time of 20.97, a race she holds the world record in in a time of 19.52. But it was the 400m event she was most focused on and leading up to the race, "I truly felt like good things were going to happen," said Stilwell.

But positive energy drained from her body almost as fast as the air in one of her tires as she position herself at the start line. Races are rarely held up due to mechanical failures, but as the other athletes stalled, Stilwell wheeled to her race crew and they fixed her up faster than a NASCAR pit crew.

Back on the start line, adrenaline pumped through Stilwell's body as she dug in deep and raced to a 1:06.57 finish, breaking the world record by more than two seconds. "Words can not describe the elation I felt," said Stilwell. "Here I thought I was in an individual sport but turns out I am in a team sport. Not just my Canadian staff but my fellow competitors as well who went out of their way to make it possible for me to race tonight." 

Athletics BC Recognizes Top Athletes of 2011

Paying tribute to the top athletes in British Columbia on December 3, 2011, awarded Michelle Stilwell for her outstanding performances of 2011. This included her bettering of the 200m World Record and the three gold medals and silver that Michelle brought back from the IPC World Championships. Her coach Peter Lawless was awarded Coach of the Year for his efforts leading to her impressive wins at the 2011 IPC Para-Athletics World Championships. 

Canadian Wheelchair Sports Honours Best and Brightest

(Winnipeg, MB) – Top athletes, coaches and builders were honoured this week for their contributions to wheelchair sports across Canada at the Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association Awards Night. Representatives from wheelchair sports organizations across the country gathered Sunday night in Winnipeg to pay tribute to the many exceptional individuals who have impacted the wheelchair sports community this year.

Michelle Stilwell was awarded Female Athlete of the Year – Despite undergoing major spinal surgery, Michelle won three gold medals and one silver medal at the IPC Para-Athletics World Championships and bested her own World Record in the 200m. Her coach Peter Lawless was awarded Coach of the Year for his efforts leading to her impressive wins at the 2011 IPC Para-Athletics World Championships.

Stilwell Takes a Time Machine to the 60's

While having her new race chair built at Invacare Top End in Tampa, Florida. Stilwell is spending time with old friends and making new ones! Below she is pictured with Mark Volman (Flo) after the Happy Together concert at Ruth Eckhard Hall. Mark, who co-founded the Turtles and later played with Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention now runs the entertainment studies department at Nashville's Belmont University when he isn't out on the road singing "Happy Together." 


Stilwell betters her own 200m World Record

Stilwell could not have asked for better weather conditions at the Ansin Sports Complex in Mirmar, Florida. Cruising past the finish line in a time of 35.22, Stilwell bettered her previous World Record by 6/100th of a second. Next up she heads to Calgary, Alberta to compete in the Canadian National Track and Field Championships from June 23-25th. 

Stilwell Victorious

As the IPC World Championships wrap up, Stilwell is bringing home some hardware. Three gold and one silver medal plus 3 World Championship Records. All this coming off a major spine surgery just 5 months prior. It is an incredible recovery for the Nanoose athlete who was out completely for more than 3 months of training.

"It was fabulous to again get to the top of the podium and sing Oh Canada...I don’t think I will ever get tired of hearing the anthem...ever." 

Stilwell Selected as Flag Bearer

The choice of a flag bearer is often seen as a sacred trust. An honour bestowed on those who represent not only the athletes at the games but Canadians across our country. The decision cannot be taken lightly and the person selected has to be just right. There are many qualified athletes on our team who deserve the honour to carry the Canadian flag but for these World Championship games in Christchurch it has been given to me -Michelle Stilwell - wheelchair basketball player turned racer.

"This is one of the greatest honors of my sporting career. For many years I have had the privilege to represent Canada at multiple international competitions. I have been inspired by my fellow athletes and I have always strived for excellence, pushing myself further than I thought I could and harder than many people wanted me to. Tomorrow at noon I will carry our country’s flag at the opening ceremony of the 2011 World Championships in Para-Athletics with incredible pride and great emotion."