Robert W. Jackson, builder

Induction year: 2001

Special Achievements:

  • 1994-Selected by the Sports Illustrated
  • 1976-Organized the Olympiad for the Physically Disabled, Toronto, Canada (also referred to as the TORONTOLYMPIAD)
  • 1967- Founded the Canadian Wheelchair Sport Association
  • 1993-Was a precursor for the creation of the Canadian Paralympic Committee

The Canadian Paralympic Movement started arguably when Dr. Robert Jackson attended the 1964 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Canada did not compete at the games but Jackson, a medical student then, who was working as an orthopedic consultant with the Canadian Olympic Team in Japan, witnessed the games firsthand. He questioned as to why the Canadian team was not participating in the games. Dr. Jackson was interested in viewing the games because of a prior opportunity to see them in England in 1961.

Dr. Jackson, who had met Sir Ludwig Guttmann at these games, decided to approach him again in Tokyo to note his disappointment with Canada's absence. In 1967 Jackson along with several others thus founded the Canadian Wheelchair Sport Association in order to send a team to these Games and Jackson became the founding President, a position he held from 1967 to 1972. In 1972 Jackson accepted the responsibility for organizing the 1976 Olympiad for the Physically Disabled (also referred to as the TORONTOLYMPIAD) to be held in Toronto, parallel to the Olympic Games in Montreal. Also as a result of these games and Jackson's leadership the pre-cursor for the Canadian Paralympic Committee was created. Jackson also served wheelchair sport at the international level with roles as director, vice-president, and president of the International Stoke Mandeville Games Federation from 1972 until 1984.

In 1991, Dr. Jackson was appointed as the Chief, Department of Orthopedics at Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, Texas. In 1993 he was named Fellow, Royal College of Surgeons (Edinburgh) and, in 1997, Fellow, Royal College of Surgeons, London, as well as Officer of the Order of Canada.

Dr. Jackson passed away on January 6, 2010.