Canadian Paralympic Committee mourns the passing of wheelchair basketball coach Jerry Tonello

January 7, 2016

Jerry Tonello

OTTAWA, January 7, 2016 – The Canadian Paralympic Committee is mourning the passing of wheelchair basketball coach Jerry Tonello, who led the national men’s team to gold at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

Tonello, of Toronto, Ont., had stepped down from his coaching role in May 2015, while undergoing treatment for a brain tumor.

“On behalf of the Canadian Paralympic Committee, our heartfelt condolences to Jerry’s family, friends, and the sport community,” said Gaétan Tardif, President of the Canadian Paralympic Committee. “Jerry was a tremendously well-respected coach. Bringing a work ethic instilled by his parents to his job on the sidelines, he made a remarkable contribution to the national wheelchair basketball program over many years.”

Along with serving as the men’s wheelchair basketball head coach at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, where the team won gold, Tonello was associate head coach at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, where the team won silver. He was assistant coach of the gold medal-winning team at the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games, as well as at the Atlanta 1996 Paralympic Games, where they placed fifth. He also coached at four Parapan American Games from 1999 to 2011.

Tonello grew up as an all-round athlete in football, basketball and a number of other sports. He is recognized in Canada as the first able-bodied player to compete at the national wheelchair basketball championships in 1992, although able-bodied players had been competing in the Canadian Wheelchair Basketball League since 1989.

About the Canadian Paralympic Committee

The Canadian Paralympic Committee is a non-profit, private organization with 25 member sports organizations dedicated to strengthening the Paralympic Movement. The Canadian Paralympic Committee's vision is to be the world's leading Paralympic nation. Its mission is to lead the development of a sustainable Paralympic sport system in Canada to enable athletes to reach the podium at the Paralympic Games. By supporting Canadian high performance athletes with a disability and promoting their success, the Canadian Paralympic Committee inspires all Canadians with a disability to get involved in sport through programs delivered by its member organizations. For more information, visit




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