Canadian swimmer breaks own record in Grand style

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With both hands raised and signalling “V” for victory, Canada’s Valerie Grand’Maison celebrates her win in the women’s 100-metre freestyle at the Beijing Paralympics on Wednesday Sept 10, 2008. It was her third gold medal of the Games.

The Star.com/Toronto Star

September 11, 2008

BEIJING–Swimmer Valerie Grand’Maison picked up her third gold medal of the Paralympic Games yesterday by breaking her world record in the women’s 100-metre freestyle for the visually impaired.

Lauren Barwick added gold in equestrian and wheelchair athletes Chantal Petitclerc and Dean Bergeron raced to victories on the track as Canada picked up four gold medals on the day.

Grand’Maison finished first in 58.87 seconds, taking more than a half-second off her previous mark of 59.57 set at the 2006 world championship. The 19-year-old from Montreal, who won gold earlier in the 400 freestyle and 100 butterfly, said her preparation has been the key to her success.  “I’m eating and resting properly and I’m not letting myself be bothered by any distractions,” Grand’Maison said.   “I’ve been pretty nervous for the races but the crowd has been absolutely great.”

Read the full story here: http://olympics.thestar.com/2008/article/497046

The Canadian Press

Toronto Star

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