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article imageCanadian hurdler Perdita Felicien retires

By Mike White     Oct 26, 2013 in Sports
Canadian hurler Perdita Felicien , who won a world outdoor title in 2003 and a world indoor title in 2004, has announced her retirement at an elementary school in Toronto. She also won a silver medal in 2007.
Felicien, 33, from Pickering, Ontario, made the announcement at an elementary school in Toronto Thursday, according to
"It was good, great and I enjoyed it. … It's the end of an era," Felicien commented on her career at a news conference at the University of Toronto. "I'm emotional but not sad."
The former hurdler will work at a new job as videographer at Hamilton-based CHCH television starting in November. She earned a broadcast journalism diploma from Seneca College in Toronto.
After winning a world indoor title in 2004 and a world outdoor title in 2003, Perdita Felicien was the favorite to win a gold medal at the Olympic games at Athens in 2004. Instead she was involved in a shocking moment, one of the most shocking at the Games.
She tripped over a hurdle and fell to the ground in the final. That was her final appearance at the Olympics.
Felicien called her career "a cocktail of triumphs, a cocktail of defeats...a mishmash of everything. I will say that the one moment that I felt in 2003, if it meant I had to re-live 10,000 moments like Athens, I would."
Felicien viewed a replay of her historic winning the world title in Paris on a big screen after announcing her retirement in front of several children at the Toronto elementary school she spoke at. Her time in the 100-metre hurdles was 12.53 seconds when she became the first Canadian woman to win a gold medal at the world outdoor championships.
"There was so much elation.... it was so intoxicating," she recalled. "It was all the things that you have worked for.
"Athens was dark and it was terrible and it was horrible, but at the same time it's made me a more wholesome person," Felicien explained.
The former hurdler is still holds the record in Canada for women in the 100 meter hurdles at 12.46 seconds and the 60 meter hurdles at 7.75 seconds.
The Montreal Gazette reported Felicien retires as a ten-time national champion, as well as a two-time Olympian and two-time silver medalist at the Pan Am Games. During a ten-year span, she competed in eight world championships, winning the gold medal at the 2004 indoor world championships in Budapest. She is also a three-time NCAA champion.
A few months ago she started talking about retirement, as well as the possibility of competing in the Olympics again in 2016. She was unable to race at the 2008 Beijing Games because of a foot injury. After a false start, she failed to qualify for the Canadian team in 2012.
"For me, the Olympic medal is the only thing that has eluded me," Felicien commented. "I don't cry myself to sleep at night over it. I tried valiantly for four Olympic cycles to go after it and it just never happened on the day. But to be amongst the top five, the top six for ten years, I don't think anyone else has that credit to their name.
"I sleep well at night," she added.
Felicien, who will soon begin her career in journalism, worked as a track analyst at the 2008 Olympics.
The reported that Felicien is not the only famous Canadian Olympic star to retire this week. Triathlete Simon Whitfield officially retired Wednesday.
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