Joanne Berdan, athlete

Induction year: 2003
Sport: Athletics (Field Events)

Special Achievements:

  • 1988, Paralympic Summer Games in Seoul, Korea: Won gold medals in her class for Shot put, Discus and Javelin
  • 1990 World Championships in Assen, Holland: gold medals
  • 1992 Barcelona Summer Games, Spain: Won all three gold medals
  • Finalist for Canadian Female Athlete of the Year honors
  • King Clancy Award from the Canadian Foundation for Physically Disabled Persons

Joanne Berdan (maiden/playing name: Bouw) was one of Canada's finest Paralympic athletes during the 1980s and early 1990s and still holds world records in the shot put, discus and javelin for athletes with cerebral palsy. By 1984 she entered her first international event at Nassau County, New York. Over the next four years, Joanne continued to train and became a member of the Canadian Paralympic team. Competing at the 1988 Paralympic Summer Games in Seoul, Korea, Joanne won gold medals in her class for shot put, discus and javelin. She repeated that performance two years later at the 1990 World Championships in Assen, Holland. In 1992 while at the Barcelona Summer Games, she again won all three gold medals in her class and completed her triple with world records in the shot put and discus.

After Barcelona, Joanne retired from competition as one of the world's most recognized athletes with a disability and the first to be a finalist for Canadian Female Athlete of the Year honors. At the 1994 Word Championships in Berlin she was unbeaten once again. With her induction into the Canadian Paralympic Committee Hall of Fame, Joanne adds to several other honors. She received the King Clancy Award from the Canadian Foundation for Physically Disabled Persons for contributing to the betterment of other people lives. She has been inducted into the Terry Fox Hall of Fame this year as an outstanding role model and inspiration.

Read more:
"Kid in the chair can dream too" (news clipping)
"Joanne path is paved with golds" (news clipping)