Robert Steadward, builder

Induction year: 2000

Special Achievements:

  • Was the founding president of the International Paralympic Committee
  • 1979-1989- Founder, President and Chairman of the Canadian Sports Fund for the Physically Disabled
  • 1971-1975- Founder and President of the Alberta Wheelchair Sports Association
  • 1966-1976-National Coach, then from 1971 to 1980 Chef de mission with the Canadian Paralympic Committee
  • 1970-1986- National Governor with the Canadian Paralympic Committee
  • 1974-1976-Treasurer and from 1986 to 1991, President of the Canadian Paralympic Committee
  • 2001-Honorary Doctor of Laws degree at Leuven University, Belgium
  • 1999-Officer of the Order of Canada
  • 2002-Recipient of the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal
  • 2004-Edmontonian of the Centaury and in 2005, Albertan of the Century

Dr. Robert Steadward is a world leader in disability sport, author, teacher, and sport scientist. It is through his efforts that persons with disabilities are now able to compete in the Paralympic Games now ranking among the largest and most well respected sporting events world-wide. Dr. Steadward was the Founding President of the International Paralympic Committee, a role that he served for 12 years. He was elected as an IOC member in 2000 and is Honorary Life Member of the Canadian Olympic Committee.

As an academic promoting the inclusion of athletes with disabilities, in the past 30 years Dr. Steadward has delivered over 300 speeches and his curriculum vitae chronicle over 150 publications. Dr. Steadward's creation and coordination of Vista '93, an inaugural conference during which over 160 international scientists, coaches, athletes and sport administrators converged to discuss many issues in the field of disability sport, served to lay the foundation for subsequent Paralympic Congresses throughout the world.

Today, among many other endeavours, Dr. Steadward remains intimately involved with the Steadward Centre, originally called the Rick Hansen Centre, a lifestyle centre for persons with disabilities that he founded. In his career, he was appointed as an Honorary Life member of the Paralympic Sports Association, The Alberta Wheelchair Sports Association, the Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association and the Canadian Paralympic Committee. He owns several awards, such as the King Clancy Award for Outstanding Contribution to Canadians with Disabilities, the Robert Jackson Award for Outstanding Lifetime Contribution to the promotion and development of wheelchair sports, as well as the Bryce Taylor Memorial Award presented annually by the Sports Federation of Canada to the nation's Outstanding Sport Volunteer.