• Wheelchair Sports
  • 1991
  • Athlete

John "Jake" Donahue (D)

Those who may question the value of sport and competition as media for character development haven’t met St. Stephen-Milltown’s Jake Donahue.

Here was a better than average amateur athlete before his diving accident in 1966, who, through determination and with wifely encouragement, made himself into a national and world-class champion afterwards.

From 1973 to 1988, he won in excess of forty gold, silver and bronze medals in National, Pan-American and World Championship competitions in the shot-put, javelin and discus events.

St. Stephen has honoured him twice as athlete of the year, as the Dr. William Greenough Memorial Award winner, and, again, on the occasion of his retirement from wheelchair sports in 1988.

"Don’t look at my disability, look at my ability” he once told an interviewer. That’s exactly what his province is doing this evening.

Enrolled in the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame, June 1st, 1991

Quick Facts

  • Won 34 medals (six gold, 16 silver, 12 bronze) in Canadian Wheelchair competitions from 1979-83
  • Won three silver and five bronze medals at Pan-American Wheelchair Games in 1974, 1975, 1982 and 1986
  • Set a Canadian shot put record in 1981 (5.95 m) and then beat it in 1984 (6.14 m)
  • Competed in the 1976 Paralympics, winning a bronze medal
  • Won a silver and a bronze at the same event in 1984
  • Winner of NB Outstanding Athlete Award in 1978
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