Canadian hurdler Perdita Felicien is retiring from competition.
The 33-year-old from Pickering, Ont., who made the announcement Thursday at a Toronto elementary school, won a world title in 2003 as well as a silver medal in ‘07.
“It was good, great and I enjoyed it. … It’s the end of an era,” Felicien said of her career during a news conference at the University of Toronto. “I’m emotional but not sad.
“There’s a new lease on my life.”
In November, Felicien will start a job as a videographer at Hamilton-based CHCH television after earning her broadcast journalism diploma at Toronto’s Seneca College.
Felicien holds the Canadian record of 12.46 seconds and was a gold medallist at the world indoor championships in 2004.
“From a baby, I knew there was something special about you,”Felicien’s mother, Cathy Browne, told her at the U of T, where she stood at the podium with another daughter, Hildy. “You were a gifted child and you proved it when you became a world champion [in 2004].”
But Felicien’s Olympic career was marred by disappointment.
She tripped over the first hurdle in the final at the Athens Games in 2004 and was unable to race four years later in Beijing due to a foot injury.
“I struggled in my career to not define myself by winning and losing,” Felicien said. “That [hurdle crash] will never define me.”
She was gunning for Olympic redemption in the summer of 2012 but failed to qualify for the London-bound team after false-starting in the final at the trials.
Prior to making her announcement, Felcien tweeted about how she was feeling.
“Today feels just like race day,” she said. “No appetite. Major butterflies. Nervous energy. Happy. :)”
Felicien is the second high-profile Canadian Olympian to call it quits this week. Triathlete Simon Whitfield officially announced his retirement on Wednesday.
The Canadian Press