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Marion Clignet

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On August 14, 2016, the BC Epilepsy Society was honoured to host Marion Clignet for an inspirational talk about thriving with epilepsy followed by a 5 km walk around Burnaby lake.

Please read below to learn more about Marion's accomplishments:

Hi there.

My name is Marion Clignet.  At the age of 22, I discovered I had epilepsy, I was told I wouldn’t be allowed to drive for a year. Why?  We had to find the right treatment if possible that would allow me to live seizure free.  A tad frustrated by this change, and frustrated by the way the doctors told me I had to be secretive around my epilepsy, because it was very taboo.

I decided to do just the opposite. I secured a job as a strength and conditioning coach 30kms from my house, and bought a bike to get me there and back. One thing led to another.  I battled with neurologists to find the right medications with the least amount of side effects, and I fought hard to push myself forward and not get caught up feeling sorry for myself because of this sudden change.

I fought so hard, that I rode myself to win the following titles:

  • US National team time trial Champion
  • US National Road Silver Medalist
  • Qualified for the World Championships to represent the USA in 1990 (they then told me they wouldn’t take me to worlds because I had epilepsy and was a risk to the team)   We’ll just say that I am never one to bow down to ‘authority’ and born of French parents, I finished that 1990 season in France and from there turned another chapter in my cycling career.
  • 10 x FRENCH NATIONAL Road, track and time trial Champion
  • 6 x WORLD PURSUIT, TEAM TIME TRIAL, and POINTS RACE CHAMPION
  • 2 x OLYMPIC SILVER MEDALIST (Atlanta and Sydney)
  • World record holder from 1996-2000 (3000m pursuit)
  • Over 250 victories including stage wins in the Tour de France and Giro Feminin
  • French Long Distance duathlon champion
  • Sub 3hour Marathon (2’58 Paris 2013)
  • Trail and mountain running races 

I stopped racing bikes in 2003 and began coaching. My desire to share my knowledge, has taken me from coaching regional men to a Tour de France men’s team as well as élite women. To nourish my addiction to endorphin producing sports, (don’t worry they’re legal!) I took up running and after a few years of pounding, injuring myself, trying to get paces right, trying all sorts of shoes, I’m at long last moving ahead! I have tried just about everything. I ran 10km, cross country and marathons. I’m now running trail and mountain races. 2016 has started with a bang and at present I’ve raced 5 races from 18km to 55km with loads of climbing and descending. Why do I continue?  I THINK I’M ADDICTED!! And this is a good way for me to share with YOU that I may have epilepsy but epilepsy doesn’t have me!

Marion's autobiography "Tenacious" is available from our office for a minimum donation of $10.  Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for your copy today!

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