Her first major international success in 1991, when she became World Champion in the 400 m in Tokyo. She then became the favourite for the Olympic 400 m title in 1992 in Barcelona which she went on to win, becoming the first Frenchwoman to win an athletics Olympic gold medal since 1968 when Colette Besson won the same event in Mexico City.
Four years later--again, as the defending 400 m World Champion--she entered in the 200 m at the Olympics in Atlanta. Surprisingly, she did win both events achieving the rare 200/400 m double gold medal. She won the 400 m in the Olympic record time of 48.25 seconds. Perec was the first athlete of either sex to win the 400 m title twice and to accomplish the 200/400 gold medal double at a non-boycotted Olympics; she completed her double 20 minutes before Michael Johnson matched the feat.
The 1996 two Olympic titles were Pérec's last international titles prior to the Sydney 2000 Summer Olympics. She was prepared to compete against Australia's Cathy Freeman in those Olympics, but just before the Games Pérec left the Olympic village in controversy and did not compete. She claimed to have been harassed by the Australian press since her arrival in Sydney.
|Event||Time (seconds)||Wind (m/s)||Date||Venue||All-time ranking|
|100 m||10.96||+1.2||27 July 1991||Dijon, France||43rd (15th)|
|200 m||21.99 (FR)||+1.1||02 July 1993||Villeneuve-d'Ascq, France||21st (9th)|
|400 m||48.25 (FR), (OR)||29 July 1996||Atlanta, Georgia, USA||3rd (3rd)|
|400 m hurdles||53.21 (FR)||16 August 1995||Zürich, Switzerland||16th (6th)|