In Memoriam: Chris "Cowboy" Pearson 1975 - 2015

The Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association offers our condolences on the passing of Saskatchewan wheelchair rugby athlete and mentor Chris “Cowboy” Pearson. He was 40 years old.

“Chris Pearson made life better for everyone around him,” said CWSA CEO Cathy Cadieux. “We will be forever grateful for the incredible impact he had on both the Saskatchewan wheelchair sport community and the Canadian wheelchair rugby family.”

Chris grew up in rural southern Saskatchewan and had a five-year career as a bareback bronco rider. When he was 19, he broke his neck during a rodeo competition and became a quadriplegic. Chris’ athletic background and adventurous spirit made him a natural fit for wheelchair sports and soon he was playing multiple sports and helping other athletes get involved.

Chris was a longtime member of Saskatchewan’s wheelchair rugby provincial team. His leadership on and off the court led Team Saskatchewan to multiple Division Two medals, including gold at the 2009 Coloplast Canadian Wheelchair Rugby Championships. Chris was also an avid waterskiier and kayaker. He won a bronze medal in the K2 – 200m World Kayaking Championships in 2009 and had several Canadian gold medals. In 2013, he also set Canadian para-waterskiing records in both the trick and slalom categories.

Most importantly, however, Chris will be remembered for going above and beyond to help people with disabilities thrive post-injury. He was a peer support volunteer, an employment specialist for people with disabilities and a popular mentor at Saskatchewan Wheelchair Sports Association’s Bridging the Gap program. In his role with URO Medical, Chris also helped people with a wide range of disabilities achieve independence.

Chris is survived by his mom Mary Ann, his brother Danny (Karri Dawn), his niece Kalbry, his nephew Dane and his fiancée Michelle. The funeral service will be held in the Broadview Community Hall on Sunday, December 20th at 1 pm. Internment will take place in the Broadview Cemetery. An additional celebration of Chris’ life will take place in Regina next spring.

Contributions in memoriam may be made to the Saskatchewan wheelchair rugby team and/or the Canadian National Adaptive Water Skiing team.

If you have a photo of Chris to share, please email it to arley@cwsa.ca and it will be added to our "In Memoriam" album.