Perdita Felicien and Morgan Campbell on their wedding day.

How They Met: Former Olympian Perdita Felicien’s marital bliss with CBC sports reporter

How the world’s biggest smiley face led to love for this Olympic athlete

Toronto’s Perdita Felicien met her husband Morgan Campbell while training at York University back in 2007. Now happily married, Felicien is best known as a hurdler, a former World Champion and an Olympic athlete of the highest calibre. Felicien also published her first book earlier last year. Felicien returned to the CBC broadcast team to cover the Summer Games in 2021, and is back again this month for the Winter Games. Campbell, a senior contributor with CBC Sports, is also hard at work on a book of his own. Here, Felicien tells the story of how they met, fell in love and what’s next.

How they met

I met Morgan at York University on March 7, 2007, when I reluctantly went to work out in the morning. I hated early training sessions. Toward the end of my workout, Morgan walked up to me and told me we had met before, on a plane in Chicago, three years earlier. It didn’t ring a bell, but I decided to go with the flow and acted like I remembered. I was running late, but I didn’t want to stop talking to him, and so, when he asked if I had email, I did him one better. I wrote my hotmail address, phone number AND the world’s BIGGEST happy face under it. I went back to my house and found his business card filed away with some others from 2004. Go figure!

The first date

Our first date was at Shoeless Joe’s in Mississauga not long after. The restaurant is no longer there, but anytime I drive past the store that replaced it I chuckle at the memory.

The proposal

We were in the middle of the Caribbean Sea on a cruise, sailing from Key West, Florida, to Honduras, Christmas 2016. On the top deck of the ship all alone, with the water calm and the stars out, Morgan took the ring box out of his pocket to pop the question. Before he could get out the words “Will you marry me?” I already had my ring finger dangling hungrily in front of his face, with the giddiest grin on mine and screamed out, yes!

The wedding and honeymoon

We got married in Toronto on June 9, 2017. It was an intimate ceremony with 99 of our closest family and friends. Afterwards we honeymooned for two weeks. We started in St. Lucia, then headed to St. Maarten, spent a day in Anguilla, then flew to Chicago (one of our favourite cities), where Morgan’s family is from.

The kids

We have one daughter, Nova Campbell. She has two middle names: Carol, Morgan’s mom’s middle name, and Felicien, my surname. She has a few nicknames, too, including: Chubbo, Munch, (short for Munchkin,) Duba and Minda. The last two are based on names she called herself when she couldn’t pronounce her name.

The secret to success

We don’t stand in the way of each other’s success. If one of us gets a great opportunity, we will adjust our schedules and life to make it work. We don’t compete and tend to keep work separate from our marriage. We are both dedicated to keeping our family strong. I grew up with a single mother, and Morgan’s parents divorced when he was young. I know that informs us as a family who want to be successful and connected.