Carla Qualtrough named to Canadian Paralympic Hall of Fame

The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Paralympic swimming medallist and Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, was one of five individuals named to the Canadian Paralympic Hall of Fame class of 2017.

4 other Paralympic trailblazers also inducted

Former Paralympic swimmer Carla Qualtrough was one of five individuals named to the Canadian Paralympic Hall of Fame on Tuesday. (Canadian Paralympic Committee/Twitter)

The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Paralympic swimming medallist and Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, was one of five individuals named to the Canadian Paralympic Hall of Fame class of 2017. 

Qualtrough enters in the builders category along with Maureen Orchard and Archie Allison. 

Ozzie Sawicki was named in the coach category while para-alpine skier Karolina Wisniewska will be honoured in the athlete category. 

"The outstanding achievements and the pioneering successes of all our inductees is a wonderful cause for celebration and recognition," Canadian Paralympic Committee CEO Karen O'Neill said Tuesday in a release.

The Canadian Paralympic Hall of Fame honours those who have had a significant impact on the growth and development of the Paralympic movement in Canada. 

Legendary figures

Qualtrough, a Delta, B.C. native, won three Paralympic and four world championship medals. She also has acted as the Canadian Paralympic Committee president as well as chair of the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada. She has practised human rights law at the federal and provincial levels and has volunteered with the International Paralympic Committee and the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games.

Orchard is credited with revolutionizing the sport of wheelchair basketball both at home and abroad. The Winnipeg native has over 30 years of experience in the sport and currently serves as the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) secretary general. 

Allison is known as a legendary figure at Toronto's Variety Village, a centre which encourages people with disabilities to develop a healthy lifestyle through sports, fitness and physical activity. Currently the centre's director, Allison has been on staff since 1984 and it is estimated that she has helped over 10,000 students, coaches and volunteers from schools and community groups. 

In the coach category, Sawicki served as the head coach and program director of the Canadian Para Alpine Ski Team from 2000 to 2004. The Cochrane, Alta., native also was the head coach of the Para Athletics program with Athletics Canada from 2009 to 2011. At the 2014 Sochi Paralympic Games, Sawicki was Canada's chef de mission. 

In the athlete category, Wisniewska is an eight-time Paralympic medal winner in para alpine skiing. The Calgary native represented Canada three times at the Paralympics, including setting a Canadian record at the time in 2002 as the first winter sport athlete to win four medals at a single Olympic or Paralympic Games. She won two silver and two bronze medals in Salt Lake City. 

Canada's Karolina Wisniewska is pictured above at the 2010 Paralympic Games in Whistler, B.C. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press)

Here is the full list of the 2017 inductees and their hometowns: 

Builder category

  • Carla Qualtrough — Delta, B.C.
  • Archie Allison — Toronto
  • Maureen Orchard — Winnipeg

Athlete category

  • Karolina Wisniewska — Calgary

Coach category

  • Ozzie Sawicki — Cochrane, Alta.


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