Today the Canadian Paralympic Hall of Fame helps tell the story of how the Paralympic Movement developed across the country, through recognizing the achievements of individuals who contributed to its growth.
Back in 2001, the Canadian Paralympic Committee-led Hall of Fame was in its infancy, officially inducting its first two athletes that year.
Arnold Boldt and the late Eugene Reimer, who passed away in 2008, brought national attention to the movement with their remarkable performances, and were very worthy debut inductees.
High jumper extraordinaire Boldt, a leg amputee, won seven Paralympic Games gold medals – his first coming in Toronto in 1976 – and cleared as high as 2.08 metres. His career even inspired the story of a CBC TV movie called Crossbar in 1979.
Reimer was Canada’s first wheelchair racing star, accumulating 10 Paralympic medals over four Games between 1968 and 1980. He lived in Abbotsford, B.C. where there is now a middle school named after him.
Today there are 40 members in the Canadian Paralympic Hall of Fame: 19 athletes, five coaches and 16 builders. Members such as Chantal Petitclerc and Carla Qualtrough are now making their marks for people with a disability through the political world and builders such as Janet Dunn and Archie Allison continue to work tirelessly to help people with a disability excel in sport.
While Hall of Fame athletes such as Reimer and André Viger (also a wheelchair racer) left us too soon, their memory and achievements will live on in the Canadian Paralympic Hall of Fame.
This year, the Canadian Paralympic Committee and Pfizer Canada are celebrating 25 years of supporting and promoting the Paralympic Movement together. Throughout 2021, we will look back on special sporting moments and milestones from each year of the partnership.
Click here to read each moment so far.