Kris Vriend, Paralympian and People Person

Everyday Heroes

When Kris takes on a challenge, she goes all the way!


In high school Kris Vriend participated in track and field, but a serious car accident made her unable to run. Did that stop her? Not a chance.


“I wanted to work hard, so I took up shotput and discus.” Anything else? “Oh, and also javelin.”


Determined, strong and with a powerful work ethic, Kris represented Canada in the 1996 Paralympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia. Kris earned a bronze medal in discus, and she went on to the World Para Athletics Championships in Lille, France, in 2003. In Lille, she landed a silver medal in discus and a gold in shotput, and continued on to compete in 2004 in Athens, and 2008 in Beijing!


These days, Kris’s hard work is on display at Walmart Store 1094 in Edmonton, Alberta. On the floor, she interacts with customers—her favorite part of the job.


“I really like working with the customers. I find that very rewarding,” she says. “The managers here are really nice, too.”


“I’ll be 49 in June, and I’m starting to slow down now,” she says. But the qualities that made her successful as an athlete come into her work. “I work really hard,” she says, and her team appreciates that.


What is Kris’s message to others who might experience obstacles on the way to their dreams? “Do what makes you happy,” she says. “And just work as hard as you can.”