#32: Roger B. Mondor

Written by Donald Royer

Roger (Mondor) or Roger B. (Mondor) as he preferred to be called was not, by far, the easiest individual to deal with. One day, it was said that his list of enemies, especially politicians, was far longer than his list of friends. However, in the 50's and 60's, the challenges confronting people with disabilities, such as accessibility, employment, recognition, architectural barriers and access  to sporting facilities, called for an individual like him to push forth change.

Born and raised in Montréal, Roger was struck at a young age by poliomyelitis, a virus that attacks the nervous system and causes paralysis. This early setback in life, opened his eyes to the many issues people with disability faced at the time and fueled his desire to tackle them.

Roger would soon thereafter develop an interest in sport and though he did participate in some sports, such as wheelchair basketball, he never reached the levels of an elite athlete. Roger’s talent, however, lied in his ability to organize and stage sporting events.

In 1969, the Government of Quebec tasked Roger with putting into place regional sporting associations for people with disabilities throughout the province. Once complete, Roger was then asked to establish the Quebec Wheelchair Sports Association, which is now known as ParaSport Quebec.

His experience eventually led him to take on the role of President of the Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association (CWSA) in 1975. A role he hold for six years and would see him be instrumental in the organization of the 1979 Super Challenge, an event that was unparalleled in the world of wheelchair sports at the time.

In 1983, Roger called time on his lengthy career in wheelchair sports, by retiring from his role at the Quebec Wheelchair Sports Association. He would, however, remain involved in parasports for many years. Roger would continue to help with the staging of events as well as the managing of athletes, such as André Viger. 

Roger B. Mondor and Andre Viger
Roger B. Mondor (left) and Andre Viger (right)