Ross Raymond Sampson
- 2005 -
Athlete - Wheelchair Sports
For Ross Raymond Sampson, the 1980s was a whirlwind of wheeling around the world and becoming one of Canada’s best-known wheelchair track and field athletes.
Following a near fatal car crash in 1980 that left him paralyzed from the waist down, Ross made a significant inroads to wheelchair sports that over the next few years would see him competing all over the world and peak for the 1984 World Wheelchair Games in Stoke-Mandeville, England.
Ross had a chance meeting with Rick Hansen during the Man In Motion’s trip through Nova Scotia in 1982 and attended a Pan-Am Games training camp in Halifax, both of which encouraged him to realize he could participate at a world-class level.
Compete he did.
Two years after a somewhat disappointing performance at his first Canadian Games for the Physically Disabled, Ross won all five events he entered at the 1983 nationals in Sudbury, Ont., 10,000-, 5,000, 1,500, 800 and 400 metre events, setting a Canadian mark in the 10,000 for his class.
Marathon events were his favourite.
Over the next two years, Ross would leave his mark wherever he wheeled against the world’s best, including the 1983 Orange Bowl Marathon in Miami, Fla., where he was 13th of 56 entries; the 1983 Montreal International Marathon, 8th of 18 wheelchair competitors; 1983 Honolulu Marathon, 4th of 32; 1984 Orange Bowl Marathon in Miami, 8th of 52.
Ross was one of five Canadians invited to Marathon-Japan in November of 1983 and in 1984 was named to the Canadian contingent at Stoke-Mandeville where he competed in several event, the topping his performance with a third-place finish in the marathon.
He was the recipient of Sackville’s Outstanding Amateur Athlete Award in 1984 and was honoured by the Nova Scotia government at a Night of Champions dinner celebrating top amateur sports figures in the province. In January 1984, Ross joined the staff of the Recreation Council for the Disabled in Npva Scotia.