An outstanding competitor, Claire Backhouse-Sharpe owns the distinction of being the only female athlete to have competed for Canada in a record five Commonwealth Games.

In 1978, as a rookie on the Canadian national team, Backhouse-Sharpe traveled to Europe to compete in the All-England badminton championship, the Wimbledon of badminton tournaments. Although she and her partner entered the competition unseeded, they quickly distinguished themselves by defeating both the eighth seeded Dutch team and the top seeded English team to reach the semi-finals. That same year, Backhouse-Sharpe competed in her first Commonwealth Games, winning two silver medals, then went on to win two gold medals at the 1978 Pan American championships. In addition to her silver medals at the 1978 Commonwealth Games, she also captured silver and gold in 1982, silver in 1986, and silver in 1990.

During her seventeen years on the national team, Backhouse-Sharpe was also a member of five world championship teams (1978, 1980, 1983, 1985 and 1991) and several Uber Cup teams (1978, 1981, 1984, 1986, 1988 and 1990). Between 1980-90, she captured eight US Open titles and two Canadian Open gold medals. Backhouse-Sharpe took a total of fifteen Canadian national titles during her career (two Junior, three Intermediate and ten Senior) plus numerous Canadian National Grand Prix and provincial titles. She represented The Americas at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea.

Backhouse-Sharpe was honoured with the Yonex Outstanding Canadian Player Award at the 1982 Canadian Open and the 1984 German Open. More recently, her talents have been recognized by the City of Vancouver, Sport Canada, and Badminton Canada, who chose her as Athlete of the Year in 1994. After retiring, Backhouse-Sharpe took the BC Badminton Team to the 1994 Canada Winter Games and the 1995 Western Canada Games as assistant coach and manager. She was also instrumental in reshaping Sport Canada’s Athlete Assistance Program policy as it relates to pregnancy, parenthood, and the female athlete.