Canada Reveals 2017 Hall of Fame Inductees

The 2016 inductees (Photo: Canadian Paralympic Committee)

The Canadian Paralympic Committee has announced on Tuesday their hall of fame class for 2017. There will be five inductees with one each in the athlete and coach categories while three will be added to the builder category.

Karolina Wisniewska is the inductee from the athlete category following her impressive para alpine skiing career, winning eight gold medals. She was the first Canadian winter sport athlete to win four medals at a single Olympic or Paralympic Games which she did at Salt Lake City in 2002. She opened her career with two silver medals in Nagano in 1998 before Salt Lake City where she won two silver and two bronze, missing the Paralympics in Torino in 2006 she returned in her home games in 2010 winning two bronze medals. Outside of the Paralympics she won 18 medals at World Cup events.

Ozzie Sawicki gets in to the hall of fame in the coach category, a just reward for his 25 years of service to para sport. Sawicki served as the head coach and program director of Canadian Para Alpine Skiing from 2000 to 2004. After some break at the top level of sport he became the head coach of Para Athletics at Athletics Canada from 2009 to 2011 before becoming the Chef de Mission for the 2014 Paralympic Games.

In the builder category Carla Qualtrough joins the Canadian Paralympic Hall of Fame for her service to addressing inequality and diversity. Qualtrough currently serves in Canadian Parliament as the member for Delta and serves as the Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities under Justin Trudeau. Serving as a human rights lawyer she was convinced to run in 2015 for the Liberals and won the seat with a 22.84% swing. Qualtrough also represented Canada at the Paralympic Games in 1988 and 1992 winning three bronze medals in the visually impaired relays. She has also served as the president of the Canadian Paralympic Committee and Chair of the Sport Dispute Resolution Center of Canada.

Archie Allison is an icon of para sport in Toronto through her work at the Variety Village, a center that helps people with a disability through sports. After starting with the center in 1984 she has since moved on to become Variety Village’s director, and has helped an estimated 10,000 individuals in Toronto.

The final inductee is Maureen Orchard who is a legend of wheelchair basketball, getting honored for 30 years of work in the sport. Orchard is the current International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) secretary general and started serving in wheelchair sports in 1985 as the volunteer treasurer of the Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association (CWSA). Since then she went on to be a vital member of the Canadian Wheelchair Basketball Association (CWBA) in 1993 serving as the president of the organization from its founding to 1998.

The induction will take place April 7th at the Infinity Convention Center in Ottawa, and tickets are available through the Canadian Paralympic Committee website.

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