Tennis Canada was saddened by the news of the passing of Paul Johnson, one of Canada’s most decorated wheelchair tennis players.
A three-time Paralympian, he competed at the 1992 games in Barcelona, in 1996 in Atlanta and in 2000 in Sydney. Johnson was one of the top Canadian wheelchair players from 1994 to 2003, paving the way for the next generation of elite athletes. The Victoria, BC native won nine national singles titles as well as nine titles in doubles. He also represented Canada at the World Team Cup and was a member of Tennis Canada’s national team.
Former National Wheelchair coach, Severine Tamborero, recalls fond memories of her time with Paul.
“I was heartbroken when I learned of Paul’s passing. It brought me back to a great time in my coaching career. He was a member of the team for my first Paralympic games in Sydney 2000 and multiple World Team Cup events where I was the men’s team captain. He was a player with so much talent and an amazing heart. He changed me and my coaching life forever. He will be missed.”
A Top 20 player for many years, Paul was well known for his sportsmanship on court and positive and playful nature off the court. He will be greatly missed in the wheelchair tennis community and the Canadian tennis community.
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of three-time Paralympian Paul Johnson. He was a terrific athlete and an even better person. My condolences go out to his family and friends” stated Janet Petras, Director of Wheelchair Tennis and Manager of National Events at Tennis Canada
A private funeral was held last week and there are plans for a celebration of life at a later date.
Our thoughts are with Paul’s family and friends during this difficult time.
(Feature photo: Kevin Bogetti Smith)