Biography:

A two-time Olympian, Christine Girard is Canada’s first ever Olympic champion in weightlifting, having won the gold medal in the women’s 63kg category at London 2012. That was four years after she became Canada’s first female Olympic weightlifting medallist with her bronze in the same weight class at Beijing 2008. Both of those medals were awarded several years after the Games when athletes who had initially placed ahead of her were disqualified for doping.

Girard also enjoyed success at other multi-sport competitions. After winning 63kg silver at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, she came home with the gold medal from the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara. In 2010, she reached the top of the podium at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, winning gold in the 69kg weight class. That followed a 63kg silver from the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne and a 2002 bronze for the clean and jerk at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester.

Girard competed at her first senior world championships in 2003 when she was just 18. She finished in the top-10 in 2007 (8th – 63kg), 2009 (8th – 69kg), 2010 (7th – 69kg) and 2011 (7th – 63kg). She is the Canadian record holder for the snatch (106kg), clean and jerk (134kg) and combined weight (238kg) in the 63kg category.

As a 10-year-old, Girard followed her older sister Caroline into weightlifting. Her two other sisters, Sylvie and Valérie, also became involved in their sport, as did their parents Gaétan and Aline, who built a weightlifting gym in the basement of their family home in Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec. After Beijing 2008, Girard moved to White Rock, British Columbia when her husband Walter Bailey was transferred to nearby RCMP detachment. She continued to train at home, having built a fully-equipped gym in their garage.

In 2018, Girard published her story in a book titled De la défaite à la victoire.