Susan Nattrass Named Canada’s Flag Bearer for the 2007 Pan American Games

The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) announced today that Dr. Susan Nattrass (Edmonton), a five-time Olympian and two-time Pan American Games medallist in shooting, has been named Canada’s flag bearer for the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Games will take place from July 13-29.

“I am absolutely thrilled and honoured to be selected as Canada’s flag bearer for the 2007 Pan American Games,” said Nattrass. “Whether competing at the Olympic Games, the Pan American Games, the Commonwealth Games or at the World Championships, the opening ceremonies have always meant a great deal to me. This is an amazing honour. To be chosen as Canada’s flag bearer is truly a dream come true.”

The 2007 Pan American Games will mark Nattrass’ fourth consecutive appearance at the multi-sport event after shooting was first added to the sports program in 1995. Among her career highlights at the Pan American Games, Nattrass captured a silver medal in the women’s double trap during her first appearance in Mar del Plata, Argentina and added a bronze medal in the same event during the 2003 Pan American Games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

A seven-time World Champion, Nattrass, 56, has represented Canada in shooting on the international stage since 1969. In 2006, she captured her seventh gold medal and recorded her 15th podium result at the Women’s World Championships following her victory in the women’s trapshooting event.

Nattrass’ Olympic Games career began in 1976 after she made Olympic history by becoming the first and only woman to compete in the open trapshooting event in Montreal. After participating in the open event at both the 1988 and 1992 Olympic Games, Nattrass experienced great success at the 2004 and 2000 Olympic Games, finishing sixth and ninth respectively in the women’s trap competition.

Nattrass is also known for her advocacy work in the sport after spearheading a campaign to have separate men’s and women’s trap and skeet events at the Olympic Games. Nattrass’ efforts came to fruition in 2000 when women competed for their own medals at the Olympic Games in Sydney.

“As a legend in Canadian sport, Susan Nattrass is an ideal athlete to carry Canada’s flag at the opening ceremony of the 2007 Pan American Games,” said Chef de Mission Tricia Smith. “For nearly 40 years, Susan has represented Canada on the international stage. During that time, her passion for sport and her level of performance have not diminished. Susan will no doubt be an inspiration to the entire Canadian team competing in Rio de Janeiro.”

Among her numerous honours, Nattrass was named Canada’s Athlete of the Year in 1981 and Canada’s Female Athlete of the Year in 1977 and 1981. In 1975, she was inducted into Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame. Two years later, she was enshrined into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. In 1981, she was named an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Apart from competing internationally, Nattrass has spent the past 11 years in the medical industry conducting clinical trials and research in the areas of women’s health and osteoporosis. Currently, she acts as the Research Director for Pacific Medical Centers and as the Director of the Puget Sound Osteoporosis Centre in Seattle, Washington.

In 2006, Nattrass established the Puget Sound Osteoporosis Foundation, a charitable initiative designed to provide support and education for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. She volunteers her time by conducting free bone density screenings for women and men of limited means. In 1996, she formed the Osteoporosis Support Group. Today, the support initiative remains the only group of its kind in the Northwest.

In addition to her medical volunteer work, Nattrass organizes an annual women’s pro-am golf tournament to help raise money, support and awareness for a homeless women’s day-shelter in Seattle.