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March 20, 2010

Bourgonje honoured for excellence in sport

Paralympic alpine skier Colette Bourgonje is being recognized with an award for exceptional determination at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games closing ceremony.

Bourgonje, who won two medals at the Games, will receive the Whang Youn Dai Achievement Award honouring elite athletes with a disability who demonstrate exceptional determination overcoming adversity through sport and the Paralympic Games.

Bourgonje won the silver medal in the women's cross-country 10 km event, sitting category, and a bronze medal in the 5km event in Vancouver.

"Colette is competing in her ninth Paralympic Winter Games and continues to embody the Paralympic Movement in Canada," said Blair McIntosh, chef de mission, Team Canada.

"In addition to her success in para-nordic skiing, Colette is a wonderful ambassador for the Canadian Paralympic Committee and a role model for future Paralympians."

Bourgonje, a 48-year-old teacher from Saskatchewan, is active in both the Winter and Summer Paralympics.

Before a car accident left Bourgonje with a spinal cord injury from the waist down, she competed in the sport at a national level.

Also receiving the award will be Endo Takayuki of Japan.

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