Words from Cindy Ouellet: “I’ll never forget the day: March 31, 2001. I was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma. I didn’t know what it was either. Then they told me cancer – a rare bone cancer, in fact. The aftermath became a blur: a few surgeries, 28 chemo treatments, three years of rehab. All the while, I was being bullied in high school for my disability, then it got worse when I came out at the age of 15. I felt my life was over. Hope and desire to live were gone.
In my darkest days, though, suddenly came hope. It was late in 2005, more than four years after my diagnosis, that my physiotherapist introduced me to wheelchair basketball. It changed my life. I instantly fell in love with the sport. Two years later, I made the senior women’s national team. The next summer, I wore a Team Canada uniform at the Beijing Paralympic Games. Did again at London 2012 and Rio 2016. I’ve had the opportunity to travel the world with this team, and with this sport. It has allowed me to compete at four world championships, earn a full athletic scholarship at the University of Alabama where we won four national championships (Roll Tide, y’all!), and I graduated with a bachelor and Masters degree.
My CrossFit career began in 2014. Since, I’ve won both the Opens in my adaptive division and the Wodapalooze in back-to-back years. Last summer, right around the Rio Paralympic Games, I won the UG Series Beach WOD and more recently won the Rush Club women wheelchair title. I hope to see a division title at the CrossFit Games this year. I believe we proved that we can have our own division.
"Beating the odds and battling through prejudices fuel my desire to show the world who we can become when we seize the day." -Cindy Ouellet