Paralympic athlete, wheelchair sports pioneer, Eugene Reimer passed away Monday, June 9, 2008. Born January 21, 1940, Eugene survived polio at an early age and went on to become a trail blazer in disabled sport, as well as a mentor, friend, and wheelchair basketball team-mate of both Terry Fox and Rick Hansen.
An outstanding athlete, he represented Canada in 4 Paralympics Games (1968, 1972, 1976, 1980). Winning 50 Canadian and Pan-American medals, and 10 Paralympic medals, he set world records in discus and in the pentathlon. His athletic awards and accomplishments are numerous:
* 1968 Paralympic Games in Israel: 2 gold medals and 1 silver
* 1972- Paralympic Games in Germany: captured gold in both discus and pentathlon (setting 2 new world records), and silver for the 2 x 60m relay.
* 1972 –Canada’s Outstanding Male Athlete of the Year Award –the 1st time this award was given to a disabled athlete
* 1972- 1st disabled athlete inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame
* 1974- 1st disabled athlete to receive the Order Of Canada medal… “for his inspiring example”
* 1976- 2 silver and 1 bronze at the Canadian Paralympics
* 1980-gold medal for discus in Holland
* 1991- Recipient of the WAC Bennett Award from the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame & Museum
* 2000-inducted into the Terry Fox Hall of Fame
* 2002- 1st disabled athlete inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame.
* 2002-The Eugene Reimer Middle School named after him
* 1998-2003 served on the 2010 Paralympic Bid Committee
* 2002 – chaired the 2002 BC Disability Games
* 2003 – Recipient of an honorary Doctor of Laws Degree UCFV
* 2007-Presented with Abbotsford’s ‘Citizen of the Year ‘award
Characteristically humble, Eugene will be remembered especially for his upbeat, ‘can-do’ attitude towards life. A man who had a lifelong commitment to the community through sport, leadership, and inspiration to others, he will be missed by all who had the privilege of knowing him. He will be remembered by innumerable people in the building industry who worked with him on many buildings in the Abbotsford area.
With great sadness, we say good bye to a beloved father, grandfather, brother, and uncle. He leaves behind sons Jim (Dianne), Kevin (Ana), daughter Lianne, mother of their children, Anna, 6 grandchildren, Levi, Jayda, Kayla, Katerina, Adonis, Antonio, brothers Ron (Cecile), Murray (Ingrid), Gordon (Diane), Roger (Ann), sister Myrtle-Anne (Ed) Rempel, and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, Bill and Katie Reimer, and his brother Keith.
Following a family burial service, a celebration of his life will be held at Northview Community Church, Downes Road, Abbotsford at 1 pm, Tuesday, June 17th, 2008.
Donations may be made to the Abbotsford Community Foundation (Eugene Reimer). This is an established legacy fund to award a bursary to a physically disabled grade 12 graduating student continuing his/her post secondary