The list of accolades for Jerry Johnston, the acknowledged builder of the sport of disabled skiing in Canada and around the world, includes the Order of Canada and the Paralympic Order.
Every time Jerry received one of these distinguished honours, the person leading the applause was wife Annie.
But this month, Annie stood beside Jerry to receive an honour as they were both inducted into the Canadian Disability Hall of Fame.
The Canadian Disability Hall of Fame is a tribute to the life and ties of the remarkable individuals who have played a part in the historic campaign to change the way we think about physical disability.
Jerry and Annie Johnston have certainly done that, and as Kimberley welcomes disabled skiers each year to train and race at the Kimberley Alpine Resort, it is important to remember that without the Johnston’s work, most of those skiers would not be doing what they are today.
Jerry says it was especially gratifying that Annie was honoured as well seeing as she has been such a part of his entire career in building the sport of disabled skiing.
“I was the idea man, she put it all together,” he said. “It’s well deserving because without her a lot of things wouldn’t have happened.”
The Johnstons, who recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, have been retired since 2004, but still remain involved in disabled sport and in seeking to improve access for people with disabilities.
In addition to the Order of Canada and Hall of Fame, Jerry has received both the Queens’ Golden and Diamond Jubilee medals and many other honours.