Christine Girard

Christine Girard, weightlifter (born at Elliot Lake, Ont, 3 January 1985). Christine Girard is one of Canada's top athletes, and among the world's best female WEIGHTLIFTERS. She is North America's top female weightlifter in her 63 kg class, and holds two Canadian weightlifting records, and one Pan American weightlifting record.

Early Career

Girard began weightlifting in 1995 in Rouyn Noranda, Que, when her entire family became involved in the activity. In 1996, she competed in her first provincial competition. She continued to compete in provincial and national competitions through the late 1990s, before becoming a member of the Canadian team in 2001 at the age of 16.

International Competition

In 2002, Girard won the first of her three COMMONWEALTH GAMES medals, a bronze in the 63 kg clean and jerk event. Her achievements continued at her next appearance at the Games, taking a silver medal in the 63 kg combined. Her results in the 2006 Games set two Canadian records, with 91 kg in the snatch and 121 kg in the clean and jerk. On the heels of this success, Girard competed in the 2007 PAN-AMERICAN GAMES, winning a silver medal in the middleweight competition.

Girard's international success earned her a spot on Team Canada for the 2008 OLYMPIC GAMES in Beijing. There, she narrowly missed the podium in the 63 kg weight class, just three kilograms away from the bronze. Being so close to an Olympic medal only pushed Girard harder to improve. In 2010 she won the gold at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, this time in the 69 kg weight class. There, Girard set two Commonwealth Games Records, with 105 kg in the snatch, and 235 kg total.

In January 2011, Girard moved from Quebec to White Rock, BC. From there, she trained via Skype with her coach, Pierre Bergeron, with assistance from Walter Bailey, a fellow weightlifter who competed in the 2005 Weightlifting World Championships. However, training alone was difficult at times, so Girard chose to train with former Olympian Guy Greavette, and the team from Hybrid Athletics, where she became a part time coach. Her hard work paid off, with Girard taking the gold medal at the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, where she set a North American record with 106 kg in the snatch, 132 kg in the clean and jerk, and in the 238 kg. At the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, she received the bronze medal in the Women's 63 kg.

Continued Success

Shortly after Beijing in 2008, Girard completed a degree in education at the Université du Québec, specializing in math, after which she embarked on a coaching career, training young athletes at Semi Weightlifting Club.