André Viger, athlete

Induction Year: 2005
Sport: Athletics (Wheelchair Racing)

Special Achievements

  • 1984- Olympic Games, Los Angeles-won a bronze.
  • Three-time winner of the prestigious Boston Marathon.
  • Four-time winner of the Oita Marathon in Japan.
  • Best Paralympic Sport Ambassador.
  • Athlete of the year, for all sports combined, in 1986.
  • Quebec personality of the year in 1984.
  • 1986-Recipient of the Maurice Richard award from the Saint-Jean-Baptist Society.
  • Many times named athlete of the year in Sherbrooke.

André took up track and field in 1979 when he ran the Beauce, Québec, marathon. This was his first victory, and his first step in the Viger legend. André participated in five Paralympic Games. His first were in Arnheim, Netherlands, in 1980, and his last were in Atlanta in 1996. Over the course of these five Games, André earned three gold medals, four silver, and three bronze.

During his lengthy career, from 1979 to 1997, he set several world records in the 1,500 m, 5,000 m, and 10,000 m distance events and won almost every marathon on the planet, from Paris to Los Angeles, from Sempach in Switzerland to Montréal. Through the various World Championships, we can no longer count his wins, whether on the track or on the road.

But André's successes are not limited to sports. His determination has set the example for all Canadian emerging athletes. Everyone from Rick Hansen to Mel Fitzgerald to Jeff Adams knew that André had one passion: victory. André has never done anything halfway. He has always given his all, good days or bad.

André Viger died of cancer on October 1st, 2006. He was 54 years old.