Johanna Jackson holds portait of her father Dr. Robert W. Jackson (photo Twitter/Sylvie Bigras)
The late Dr. Robert W. Jackson, one of the founding members of the Canadian Paralympic movement, was among nine athletes and builders announced today (April 19) as Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame class of 2017.
Arthroscopy was Dr. Jackson’s major clinical work, for which he was internationally renowned. He introduced the technique of arthroscopy to the western world in 1965 and devoted significant time to teaching the technique around the world.
In 1994, Sports Illustrated named the Toronto native as one of 40 individuals who had the most impact on sports, during the 40 years of publication of the magazine. In 1997, Dr. Jackson was both appointed to the Order of Canada by the Governor General of Canada, and also presented with the Olympic Order, the highest order given by the International Olympic Committee.
Outside of medicine, Dr. Jackson’s major interest centered on the physical abilities of athletes with a disability. He was the founder and first President of the Wheelchair Sports Association of Canada in 1967 and in 1968 took the first Canadian wheelchair team to the International Paraplegic Games in Tel Aviv.
In 1976, Dr. Jackson organized the first Olympiad for the Physically Disabled to be held in North America, in parallel with the Olympic Games, combining paraplegic, amputee, and blind athletes from around the world in one major sporting event, referred to as the Torontolympiad.
In 2001 he was inducted into the Canadian Paralympic Hall of Fame as a Builder and in 2005 he was awarded the Paralympic Order, also in the Builder category, by the International Paralympic Committee. The Paralympic Order is the highest tribute a person connected with the Paralympic Movement can achieve. It honours someone who has exemplified the Paralympic ideals through their actions, made remarkable strides in Paralympic Sport or rendered outstanding services the Paralympic cause.
Dr. Jackson passed away at age 78 in 2010.
Also announced today as Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame inductees in the Builder category was Dr. Charles Tator. Athlete inductees were former NHLer Lanny McDonald, speed skating legend Cindy Klassen, triathlete Simon Whitfield, wrestler Carol Huynh, lacrosse player Gaylord Powless, golfer Mike Weir and the Edmonton Grads women's basketball team.
The Class of 2017 will be officially inducted during the Canada's Sports Hall of Fame 2017 Induction Celebrations on November 9, 2017 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
Please visit sportshall.ca for more information.