Canadian Jerry Johnston recognised for over 40 years of dedication to
OTTAWA, Sept. 24 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Paralympic Committee extends congratulations to Canadian Jerry Johnston, an advocate of skiing for persons with a disability. Mr. Johnston has received the Paralympic Order for 2009 from the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). Over the span of his career, Mr. Johnston has created opportunities for children and youth with a disability to get involved in skiing and has been an essential contributor to the Canadian Paralympic Movement.
"Mr. Johnston has been instrumental in developing the Canadian system for skiers with a disability and his leadership has been sought worldwide. He is a tireless supporter of the Paralympic movement, and his achievements show just what can be accomplished with courage and dedication," said David Legg, Board Member for the Canadian Paralympic Committee. "On behalf of the Canadian Paralympic Committee and all of the athletes he has helped, we are very proud to see this inspiring man's career honoured at the international level. Without Mr. Johnston's leadership many of the athletes preparing for 2010 would not have had their start in skiing."
Mr. Johnston, 73, has been teaching and encouraging people with a disability to ski for almost 40 years. He began instructing his first student with a physical disability in the 1960s when he was the owner and director of the Sunshine Village Ski School in Banff, Alberta. The experience launched a lifetime of teaching, mentoring, and promoting skiing to people with a disability in Alberta, across Canada, and also in Japan.
He founded the Alberta Amputee Ski Association in 1970, and that same year helped establish the Japanese Handicapped Ski Association. To organize the sport nationally in Canada, he also formed the Canadian Association for Disabled Skiing (CADS) in 1976.
Mr. Johnston has been involved in the Canadian Paralympic Movement for over 20 years, and was inducted into the Canadian Ski Instructors' Alliance (CSIA) Hall of Fame in 2000 and the Canadian Paralympic Hall of Fame in 2003.
"Canada has great winning traditions in Paralympic sport--both on and off the field. We are proud the International Paralympic Committee has recognized Mr. Johnston for being an eminent builder of Para-alpine skiing," said Henry Storgaard, CEO, Canadian Paralympic Committee. "When the Paralympic Winter Games come to Whistler in 2010, Canadians will be able to experience the competitiveness and excitement of Para-alpine skiing that captivated Mr. Johnston, as well as the four other Paralympic winter sports of wheelchair curling, biathlon, cross-country skiing and sledge hockey."
The Paralympic Order, the highest tribute given out by the IPC, honours people "who have made important contributions to the Paralympic Movement, have illustrated the Paralympic ideal through their actions, have achieved remarkable merit in the Paralympic sporting world or have rendered outstanding services to the Paralympic cause." As of yet, no date has been set for Mr. Johnston's award to be presented in Canada.
About the Canadian Paralympic Committee
The Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) is a non-profit, private organization with 42 member sports organizations dedicated to strengthening the Paralympic Movement by empowering Canadians with a disability through sport. The CPC is responsible for managing the team of athletes who represent Canada at Paralympic Games. By supporting Canadian Paralympic athletes and promoting their success, the CPC inspires all Canadians with a physical disability to get involved in sport through programs delivered by our members. For more information, visit www.paralympic.ca.
SOURCE Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC)
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