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Sonja Gaudet

"With the amazing support of my family, friends and the community at large, I quickly got back into my life - raising my two kids who were three and six years old at the time, and studying to be a Certified Teachers Assistant . Because being active in sport was a huge part of my life prior to my accident, I wanted to be sure that I would still be able to participate in sports - especially with my family - so I began trying all the different sports that were available to me." Sonja Gaudet

Born and raised in BC, Sonja currently resides in Vernon, in the Okanagan Valley, with her husband Dan and their two teenagers, Alysha and Colten. Sports and being active had always played an important part in Sonja's life but a horse accident fourteen years ago resulted in a complete spinal cord injury. Sonja quickly embraced the concept of Paralympism: aspiring to achieve your full potential through sport, whatever form life's challenges might take.
Immersing herself in an active lifestyle, Sonja learned how to ski, play basketball and tennis, bike, swim, and do many other things that she loved to do before. Then in 2003 Sonja was introduced to the sport of Wheelchair Curling.
Since then Sonja Gaudet has gone on to represent Canada internationally, competing and training as an athlete on the Canadian Curling Association's National Wheelchair Curling Team. She is a Bronze, Silver and Gold National Champion, a Two-time World Champion in 2009 & 2011 and a Two-time Paralympic Games Gold Medalist in Torino 2006 and Vancouver/Whistler 2010.
Sonja is an integral part of the Paralympic Movement and works to bring much needed attention and awareness to the Paralympic Games and the athletes.
She passionately encourages others to strive for excellence in their own lives and to believe that giving up is NOT an option! Her personal motto, 'Always Believe in Yourself', supports others to understand that abilities can be enhanced, disabilities overcome and lives fulfilled.
Meyer Family Vineyards is proud to honour this outstanding athlete and Canadian for this year's Tribute to Excellence. Sonja has directed the Tribute be awarded to a high-school graduating student from Vernon's School District #22 who, regardless of the challenges in their own life, continues to strive for excellence and role models that giving up is not an option.