Hall of Famer
Jerry Johnston’s contribution to the world of skiing is best exemplified in his total dedication to the development of skiing for the disabled, a process which began in 1963. This was often difficult work requiring the development of techniques and equipment to allow the disabled to
ski. His work with the disabled was not confined to Canada alone. Japan approached him in 1970 and he was instrumental in establishing that country’s program also.
As a member of two international committees, he made an invaluable contribution in the development of the rules for competition for the disabled which has enriched the lives of those who would otherwise been unable to participate in the sport.
He began his skiing career with the Banff National Park Warden Service out of high school as a ski patroller on Mt. Norquay and then spent a ski season at Gray Rock Inn, Mont Tremblant, Quebec in 1957. He then moved back to his home in Banff, Alberta and taught skiing at Mt.
Norquay for 2 years then moved to Sunshine Village ski resort, Alberta in 1960 and introduced the first program for disabled skiers in Canada in 1963.
He was appointed a Director of the Canadian Ski Instructors’ Alliance in 1965. His knowledge and ability were quickly recognized and a year later was appointed 2nd Vice President. He was Vice President from 1967 to 1968 and President in 1968-1969 and 1969-1970. He achieved Level IV Instructor designation in the Alliance and Level II Coach certification in the Canadian Ski Coaches Federation. He was inducted into the Canadian Ski Instructors’ Alliance Hall of Fame in 2000.
He founded the Canadian Association for Disabled Skiing and was its first President in 1976 and 1977. He became the Association’s Executive Director (and an Examiner) in 1978, a position he held for many years until October 2nd, 2004 when he retired.
From 1972 until 1977, he served as the Founder and President of the Alberta Amputee Ski Association, later renamed as the Alberta Association for Disabled Skiers. He was a delegate at Interski in 1968 and 1971.
He was a familiar figure at many events involving the disabled including:
Team Manager for the Canadian team at the Disabled Olympic Games in Geilo.
Technical Advisor to a meeting of the International Sport Organization for the Disabled held in Molo, Sweden.
Appointed Alpine Technical Officer for the International Sport Organization for
Jerry Johnston was chairman of the International Sports organization for the Disabled Technical Committee from 1982-1992.
Served as an Alpine Referee at the Disabled Skiers World Championships, Switzerland (1982), Innsbruck, Austria, Paralympics (1984 and 1988), Disabled Skiers World Championships, Salen Sweden (1986).
Served as Chairman at the Disabled Skiers Demonstration events at the Sarajevo Olympic Winter Games, Yugoslavia, (1984), and the same event, Calgary Olympic Winter Games, Alberta,1988.
He also went to Japan in 1991 as a Special Guest at the 20th Anniversary International Friendship Ski Festival.
He was a member of the International Paralympic Alpine Sport Executive Committee from
He was the Technical Delegate for Alpine Skiing at the 1992 Paralympic Games in Tignes,
France and at the 2002 Paralympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.
He has received a number of prestigious awards for his work including induction into the Order of Canada in 2000, an Alberta Achievement Award for Service in 1974 and again in 1979 for Excellence, induction into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame in 1980, a Special Award for Work with the Disabled in Skiing given by the Canada West Ski Areas Association 1985, Queen’s Jubilee Medal 2003, and was awarded the Pat Ramage Award by the Canadian Ski & Snowboard Association in 2004 for thirty-five years of tireless effort and dedication to snow
Please Note: The ski information gathered here is compiled from a number of sources; it may not be inclusive of all accomplishments. Copyright © 2021, Canadian Ski Museum. For Personal/Educational use only.
CADS Instructor Manual Cover. CADS.
Jerry Johnston (right). CSHFM Collection.
Jerry Johnston (right). CSHFM Collection.
Jerry Johnston (left). CSHFM Collection.
Canadian Ski Museum Chair, Erle Bergh, with inductees Keith Nesbitt, Laurie Graham, Marie-Claude Asselin and Jerry Johnston at 1991 Canadian Ski Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. CSHFM Collection.