NATTRASS Susan < Back  
Sport Shooting
CGA Canada   
Gender Women
Born 05 Nov 1950 in Medicine Hat, CAN
Height1.76 m
Weight 73 kg
Human Interest
Further Personal Information
Residence Vashon, WA, USA
Occupation Researcher
Languages English
Higher education Physical Education;Sports Science - University of Alberta: Edmonton, AB, CAN
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport? She started shooting at the age of 13 in Canada.
Why this sport? She grew up with the sport. Her father competed, as did both her brothers.
Club / Team Strathcona Shooting Range: Edmonton, AB, CAN
Name of coach Marie Nattrass
Coach from which country? Canada
Coach from what year? 1969
Handedness Right
General Interest
Nicknames Sue (Athlete 09/12/99)
Hobbies Golf, skiing, walking, reading murder mystery novels and playing cards. (Athlete 09/12/99)
Memorable sporting achievement Winning her first World Championships gold medal in 1974, and setting a new world record [195 shots out of 200] in 1978. (Athlete 09/12/99)
Most influential person in career Her mother, because she has always been supportive and encouraging. (Athlete 09/12/99)
Awards and honours Inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in 1977 and to the Amateur Trap Shooting Association's Hall of Fame in 1998. (Athlete 03/10/01)

Named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1981, received the Great Canadian Award in 1990 and the Premier's Award as 'Alberta Athlete of the Year' in 1982. (Athlete 03/10/01)

Awarded the Lou Marsh Trophy as the Canadian Athlete of the Year in 1981 and voted Canada's Female Athlete of the Year in 1977 and 1981. (Athlete 03/10/01)
Other sports Competed in women's volleyball at university. (Athlete 09/12/99)
Famous relatives Her father, Floyd Nattrass, competed in the trap event at the 1958 and 1962 World Championships and the 1964 Olympics. Her mother Marie is also her coach. (CAAWS 28/11/01, Athlete 09/12/99)
Ambitions "I want to win the Olympic gold in the women's trap and I want to make an impact with the medical research I do." (Athlete 09/12/99)
Other information FINAL ANGER
Despite eventually claiming the gold medal, she was incensed during the trapshooting final at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, when spectators tried to distract her and help her Brazilian opponent by cheering loudly every time she missed a shot. The Canadian team's chef de mission Tricia Smith, who attended the final, said it was something Canadian athletes were not used to. "The crowds are so enthusiastic, they're amazing, and we love when we have them on our side," she said. "But it's a different culture. I don't think it's anything malicious." (Toronto Star 19/07/07)

At the 1976 Olympics, Nattrass broke the gender barrier as the first woman to compete with the men. After women were barred from trap shooting in 1992, Nattrass, who has a PhD in philosophy, began a campaign to start a separate women's event. At the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, female competitors in trap and skeet had their own event, and she was a major player in forcing the change.

Women were not permitted to compete in Olympic trap and skeet events from the 1996 Games onwards, but they were allowed to participate in the double trap, a new discipline that had been developed during the late 1980s. The difficulty was that double trap was not especially popular among female shooters.

Nattrass, who had shot single trap all her life, said, "We didn't want to do double trap. It's like telling a downhill skier that they've got to compete in cross country. It was dreadful."

"I did politics. I did surveys. I did a very comprehensive history of women in shotgun sports," she said. Her peers continued to support the cause, convinced that she was their only option in championing the cause.

"It took five years, almost to a day," she said. When competing at a World Cup event in Italy in May, 1997, the Secretary-General of the ISSF [International Shooting Sport Federation] approached her and said, "Now don't tell anybody, but you've won." "Won what ?" she asked. "Women will be in the Olympics in 2000," she was told.

Nattrass said she began to cry. Immediately after the official announcement, the numbers of female competitors increased greatly. "Now all of a sudden there are women's coaches, too," she said. "Women's teams are getting funding. The women are now getting everything that the men are getting. It's really exciting to see." (CAAWS, The Globe and Mail 23/08/00)

Having begun competing in 1971, she qualified for the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games to become the first woman to ever compete with men. In 1990, she also became the first woman to compete in a shotgun event at a Commonwealth Games and she held a world record in trap which stood from 1974 to 1989. (CBC 25/06/04, CAAWS 18/09/00)