Jerry Johnston, builder

Induction year: 2003

Special Achievements:

  • 1970 - Formed the Alberta Amputee Ski Association
  • 1970 - Important role in setting up the Japanese Handicapped Ski Association.
  • 1976 - Founded the Canadian Association for Disabled Skiing (CADS)
  • 1974 - Received his first of three Alberta Achievement Awards
  • 1980 - Inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame
  • 1991 - Inducted into the Canadian Skiers Hall of Fame
  • 2000 - Was honored as a Member of the Order of Canada

To say that Jerry Johnston is the key figure in the disabled skiing and the Canadian Paralympic Movement is definitely an understatement. Almost 40 years ago Jerry began teaching skiing to people with mobility impairments at his Sunshine Village Ski School in Banff, Alberta. He had only one such student initially but the experience launched a lifetime of teaching, mentoring and promoting the sport in Alberta and throughout Canada. During the 1960s, Jerry took on more students and formed the Alberta Amputee Ski Association in 1970. Not limiting his efforts to Canada, that same year he played an important role in setting up the Japanese Handicapped Ski Association.

Jerry then founded the Canadian Association for Disabled Skiing (CADS) in 1976. Thousands of people with disabilities have learned to ski through programs run by CADS member organizations. In addition to his pioneering role with CADS, Jerry has been closely involved with the Canadian Paralympic Movement for well over 20 years. With his induction into the Canadian Paralympic Committee Hall of Fame, Jerry adds to a long list of achievements and honours. Jerry also co-authored a definitive manual on teaching skiing to people with a disability which is used around the world. Whether working at the grassroots or Paralympic levels, Jerry Johnston has ensured that the sport he loves is open to everyone.