All About Nathalie Lambert
Meet Your 2010 Chef de Mission for Canada
Born: December 1, 1963
Nathalie Lambert was named Canada’s Chef de Mission for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games on December 10, 2007. The Montreal native was a star in short track speed skating just as the sport was gaining its legs on the international stage.
Short track speed skating was introduced to the Olympic Winter Games sports programme in 1988 where, in Calgary, it was contested as a demonstration sport. Lambert was there for Canada’s first time hosting the Olympic Winter Games, and she and her teammates finished third in the women’s 3,000 m relay.
Four years later, at the Olympic Winter Games in Albertville, France, short track speed skating was a medal sport for the first time. Lambert won a gold medal in the 3,000 m relay with teammates Sylvie Daigle, Angela Cutrone and Annie Perreault. For her efforts, Lambert was given the honour of being Canada’s flag bearer at the Games’ Closing Ceremony. Lambert made her third Olympic appearance two years after that at the 1994 Olympic Winter Games in Lillehammer. She captured two silver medals in the 1,000- and 3,000-metre relays.
Her Olympic successes tell only part of the story of Nathalie Lambert’s athletic prowess. She was a force on the world stage her entire career, particularly at World Championships – which until the sport became Olympic, represented the highest degree of competition. At the 1991 World Championships in Sydney, Lambert became world champion on the strength of two gold medals and a silver medal. At the 1993 World Championships in Beijing, she reclaimed the world title with two gold medals and a bronze. At the 1994 World Championships in Guildford, UK, Lambert repeated as world champion, capturing three gold and two silver medals.
Between 1992 and 1994, Lambert won all 11 international competitions in which she participated. Over the course of her career, Lambert has set the world record in many events, including 500 metres, 1,000 metres, 1,500 metres and 3,000-metre relay. Lambert retired from competition in 1997 but returned to the Olympic Games as Assistant Chef de Mission for the Canadian Team in Athens in 2004.
She has earned many accolades. She has been a member of the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame since 1992, Quebec’s Sports Hall of Fame since 2001 and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame since 2002. Lambert was named the athlete of the year by the Mérite Sportif Québécois in 1994, while also earning the same distinction by the Canadian Speed Skating Association from 1985 to 1987, and 1990 to 1994.
Following her sporting career, Lambert was hired by Montreal’s Club Sportif MAA and has served as its Director of Communications and Marketing since 1999. She also carried her passion for sport into motivational speaking opportunities while collaborating with several television productions, producing four fitness dance DVD’s and publishing a book on the value of fitness and physical activity.
Diagnosed with osteoarthritis while still speed skating competitively, Lambert became an Honorary Patron of the Arthritis Society of Quebec upon her retirement. A mother of two, Lambert and her husband currently reside in Montreal.