Stewart McKeown has been a champion of wheelchair sports, competing in the 1988 Paralympic Games in Seoul, Korea, where he won two medals in field events, and then competing in wheelchair basketball at the 1996 Paralympic Games in Atlanta. Stewart was born in Cutknife.
He was always active in sports as a youth, throwing the javelin at the 1981 high school provincial championships. He won gold in provincial high school discus that year and won two medals at the National Legion track and field championships in Hamilton.
Stewart left the able-bodied sports world after suffering a broken back when a van, carrying five midget hockey players, went off the road on Nov. 27, 1981. For some with less determination, the accident might have stopped a sports career but he forged ahead, first in field events and then in basketball.
After the injury, he went to championships for the physically disabled in Canada, then to the Pan-American Games in Puerto Rico, and qualified with Clayton Gerein, Rick Reelie and Daryl Stubel for the 1988 Paralympics. Twice during 1988, he set world records in the discus. But equally memorable were a silver medal at the Paralympics at Seoul and was presented with a bronze medal for his performance in the shot put by Juan Antonio Samaranch, president of the International Olympic Committee
Stewart was fourth in both the shot put and the discus events while representing Canada at the 1990 world championships in Aasen, The Netherlands, and then went to the Stoke-Mandeville Games in England to win silver in both events.
He played wheelchair basketball as early as 1982, played for Saskatoon in a Prairie Conference, and also played for Edmonton in a national association. He qualified for a Canadian national wheelchair team in 1995. And then it was on to Argentina for a 1996 pre-Olympic tournament of the Americas. The Canadian finished fifth in a tough division but there was some satisfaction for Stewart to see his name on the scoreboard during Canada's pep rally.