(Vancouver, BC) The Canadian Paralympic Hall of Fame welcomed seven new members on Friday evening at an induction ceremony held at the Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Downtown Hotel.
Five athletes – Colette Bourgonje (Porcupine Plain, SK), Josh Dueck (Kimberley, BC), Viviane Forest (Edmonton), Garett Hickling (Kelowna, BC), and Joey Johnson (Lorette, MB) – as well as coach Joe Rea (Prince George, BC) and builder Kathy Newman (Vancouver) were inducted and celebrated for their vast achievements and contributions within Paralympic sport.
The Canadian Paralympic Hall of Fame recognizes and celebrates athletes, coaches, and builders who have made a significant impact on the growth and development of the Paralympic Movement in Canada. A new class of inductees is honoured every two years.
“Congratulations to the new members of the Canadian Paralympic Hall of Fame,” said Marc-André Fabien, president, Canadian Paralympic Committee. “The class of 2019 truly is represented by special individuals who have been pillars of the Paralympic Movement in Canada for decades. The Canadian Paralympic Committee, and our entire community in Canada, is so grateful for their dedication, passion, commitment, and their tremendous contributions to Para sport in this country.”
“This is truly a very humbling experience and such an honour. I can’t believe that my career [as an athlete] is done, and here I am being inducted into a Hall of Fame … Throughout my career I was supported and encouraged by so many people, and I will now encourage and challenge everyone else here to keep pushing forward, keep breaking down those barriers, and to help grow Para sport and push it into the mainstream and hopefully that will help enable our next generation of Paralympic all stars.”
– Joey Johnson, Athlete, Wheelchair Basketball
“I am honoured to be here to receive this award, and I feel quite overwhelmed … I was reflecting on what I would say tonight, and recently I was interviewed on the radio, and I was asked what I wanted to see happen in the future of the Paralympic Movement, and what came to mind was the need for us to continue to shine a light on Para sport. While we have come a long way, we have much more to do.”
– Kathy Newman, Builder, Wheelchair Sports
For more information on each inductee, and to view the complete list of Canadian Paralympic Hall of Fame members, please visit paralympic.ca.