Tracey Ferguson of Richmond Hill, Ont., is retiring as a member of Canada’s national women’s wheelchair basketball team, concluding a 26-year career.
Ferguson competed at seven Paralympic Games, winning three gold medals and a bronze. She is also a four-time world champion, including a victory at the 2014 worlds in Toronto.
“I have no words to express how truly grateful I am for the privilege of representing Canada as an athlete for the past 26 years,’’ said Ferguson, 42. ‘’It is with mixed emotions that I am announcing my retirement.’’
Ferguson joined the national team in 1991 and soon became a part of one of the most successful teams in Canadian amateur sport history. The Canadian women won three consecutive Paralympic gold medals in 1992, 1996 and 2000, as well as a bronze in 2004. She also captured three consecutive gold medals at the world championships in 1994, 1998 and 2002, and was named to the world championship all-star team in 1998 and 2002.
“Tracey is one of the most successful athletes in the history of the women’s program, said Wheelchair Basketball Canada Executive Director Wendy Gittens. ‘’We congratulate her on all of her outstanding contributions and accomplishments in the game throughout her long and storied career with Team Canada.’’
Ferguson grew up playing street hockey and dreamed of one day representing Canada on the Olympic podium. Spinal surgery left her paralyzed at the age of nine, but four years later she discovered wheelchair sports through Variety Village in Scarborough.
‘’Her leadership and competitive spirit will be greatly missed on the basketball court and we wish her the very best in the future with whatever comes next,’’ said Gittens.
Ferguson was inducted into the Canadian Disability Hall of Fame in 2012.
“In 26 years of competing, I have had some of the most amazing teammates,” said Ferguson. “We have together given our blood, sweat and in some cases tears in representing Canada with everything we had.’’