With three Paralympic gold medals, Sonja Gaudet is the world’s most decorated wheelchair curler. The Team Canada veteran added to her gold medal haul helping Canada to another tournament victory at the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi. She was also Canada’s flag bearer for the Opening Ceremony at those Games.
Gaudet was part of Canada’s champion foursomes at the 2006 Paralympic Winter Games where wheelchair curling made its debut in Torino and at the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games before a cheering hometown crowd. Her long list of achievements also includes three gold medals won at the 2013, 2011 and 2009 World Wheelchair Curling Championships.
After a fall from a horse and sustaining a spinal cord injury, Gaudet sought out others who might be able to give her advice on how to sustain the healthy lifestyle she enjoyed before her accident. She turned to Rick Hansen who has been an incredible role model for people with a disability across the world. As Gaudet will tell you during her many meetings with Rick, she “bombarded him with questions about adaptive sporting opportunities, how to navigate through life with a spinal cord injury and about raising kids from a wheelchair,” since his children are the same age as Gaudet’s and at the time of her accident they were three and six years old.
Team Canada’s lead believes, “the power of sport has incredible benefits for athletes with a disability. Sport promotes a healthy lifestyle as well as so many great tools for life - a sense of self-worth, confidence, honesty, teamwork, respect, belief in self, perseverance, determination. The list is endless.”
Gaudet has a keen interest in accessibility issues in her community of Vernon and lends her experience and knowledge to create new recreational opportunities for people with mobility challenges. She is an ambassador with the Rick Hansen Foundation and the Canadian Paralympic Committee where she uses the power of sport and her experience of overcoming challenges to motivate and inspire people of all ages.
2014 Paralympic Winter Games Wheelchair Curling Champion… 2013 World Wheelchair Curling Champion… 2011 World Wheelchair Curling Champion… 2010 Paralympic Winter Games Wheelchair Curling Champion… 2009 World Wheelchair Curling Champion… 2006 Paralympic Winter Games Wheelchair Curling Champion…
Canada won gold at the 2010 and 2006 Paralympic Winter Games.
FAMILY: Living in Vernon, BC, Gaudet is married to Dan and they have two active children, Alysha (22) and Colten (19). Family is her first priority in life
GETTING INTO THE SPORT: Gaudet was introduced to the sport of wheelchair curling by chance when asked to give advice on a wheelchair accessible washroom renovation at her local curling club. This renovation was being done because they were hosting a beginner wheelchair curling clinic as the sport was just starting to get more popular with the Paralympic Games in Torino not far away. She was convinced to participate in the clinic and reluctantly she did. Lucky for Team Canada!
ODDS AND ENDS: She likes to cook and admits she’s a bit of a foodie. When not on the ice and travelling around the world she loves to fish and kayak in the spring and summer.