Jassman doesn’t limit his athleticism to just wheelchair basketball

Paralympic champion went through adversity to the stars

Chad Jassman, Wheelchair Basketball Canada
Decorated Paralympian Chad Jassman at Wheelchair Canada practice The Alberta native is a licensed pilot and loves to fly. (Photo Courtesy of Wheelchairbasketballcanada.ca) 

Decorated Paralympian Chad Jassman has overcome many challenges and believes his love of sports and wheelchair basketball has turned his life-changing automobile accident into fuel for his competitive spirit.

Since a young age, the Alberta native has loved sports and competed in curling, baseball, basketball, tennis, and skiing.

After an accident in 2004 had left him with a broken back, Jassman decided not to let that hold him back from achieving his dreams.

“I realized there was no way I was going to give up sports in my life,” Jassman said. “No matter what the outcome was.”

The 38-year-old has been a member of Wheelchair Basketball Canada since 2009 and has represented the country on the biggest stages, most recently in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, where the team placed 8th.

He has appeared for Canada at two Paralympic Games and three Parapan American Games. He was a member of the gold-medal Wheelchair basketball team at the Paralympic Games in London in 2012.

Jassman chose to pursue wheelchair basketball because it was one of the only para-sports he was familiar with before his accident. Additionally, It would still allow him to compete even with able-bodied people.

“It’s not like you suddenly get hurt, and you have this new group of wheelchair friends and that those are your only friends,” Jassman explained. “I still want to play against my brother and my friends from back home, so this was an easy way to experience that.”

One thing that Jassman couldn’t give up was his love for aviation. Before his accident, he worked at a ski and snowboarding resort to put himself through aviation school. 

Years later, Jassman found his way back to the clouds.

“It’s such a freeing feeling being in an airplane, and I love roller coasters, and when you’re flying an airplane,” Jassman said. “It’s like your own private roller coaster that you can go and experience gravity, and it’s such a cool feeling.”

Outside of his role with the Senior Men’s National Team, Jassman is the head coach for the Calgary Rollers women’s side. They won the Canadian Wheelchair Basketball League Women’s National Championship in 2017.

Jassman hopes that one day there will be a way that both able-bodied athletes and those with disabilities can compete on the same stage.

“I would love to see where one day internationally in the Paralympics, you just open it up to everybody. The chair to me is a piece of equipment just like playing on skates.”

The seasoned Paralympian has received numerous awards throughout his athletic career, notably the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2013 and the True Sport award at the 2009 Americas Cup Qualifier.

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Posted: Mar 31 2022 10:13 pm
Filed under: Basketball Sports Wheelchair Basketball