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'It's unmatchable': Two Cape Breton para-athletes inducted into sports hall of fame

Jamey Jewells spent years representing her country in wheelchair basketball.

She said her induction into the Cape Breton Sports Hall of Fame last weekend was a special honour at home.

"This award means more to me than any other medal I have received in my sporting career,” Jewells said.

“It's almost like a physical reminder of the unconditional support that I had from this small community."

Twenty years ago, the Donkin, N.S. native was in Grade 9 when she broke her back in a car accident.

Before she eventually embarked on her basketball career in 2007, she spent two years in hospital.

"Months in ICU, battling sepsis,” Jewells said. “I ended up having seven spinal fusions."

Pamela LeJean's backstory is similar.

She injured her spinal cord in a car accident at age 17 and went on to represent Canada in shot put at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro.

LeJean also set Canadian records in javelin, discus and shot put.

Carol Miller, chair of the Cape Breton Sports Hall of Fame committee, said to induct both women on the same night was fitting.

"I think it speaks well, not only to them as Cape Bretoners and the Cape Breton blood that goes through their veins but to their own determination and courage to fight against that adversity and come out on top — and smiling all the way”, Miller said.

Now that both have retired from competitive sports, Jewells says to be enshrined in the Sports Hall of Fame with LeJean is an honour.

"For two people who suffered through a car accident leading to a spinal cord injury, to end up on their sports' biggest stages and then, the support that the island had for both of us - it's unmatchable,” Jewells said. 

For more Nova Scotia news visit our dedicated provincial page Top Stories

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