Perdita Felicien was born on August 29 1980 in Oshawa, Ontario. At age 7 Perdita and her family moved to Pickering, Ontario, where gym teacher Mrs. Arthurs noticed her athleticism and encouraged her to try out for the track team. In elementary school Perdita excelled in the 100m, 200m and long jump, winning numerous regional competitions. She started hurdling at age 14.

In 2003 she won gold in the 100 metre hurdles at the IAAF World Outdoor Championships, and in 2004 she won the IAAF World Indoor title. She has represented Canada at five World Championships and a pair of Olympic Games (2000 and 2004). Perdita missed the 2008 Olympics with injury, but attended the games as a member of the media, reporting track side for Canada’s host broadcaster CBC.

Perdita also excelled in the classroom earning Academic All-Big Ten and Academic All-American distinctions while at Illinois. In 2004 Perdita graduated with honours with a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology.

Perdita has three sisters and one brother; she credits her mother Cathy for her success by never letting her give up on her dream. Pj sat down with Perdita to talk track and beyond.

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Follow Perdita on Twitter: @perditafelicien