Diane Lee (née Crowe) Earl
Born: November 3, 1947 (Truro, Nova Scotia)
Died: February 25, 2015 (Parkland County, Alberta)
Alberta Sports Hall of Fame (1976)
Wheelchair Basketball Canada Hall of Fame (1996)
Diane (née Crowe) Earl was one of Canada’s foremost paraplegic athletes in the era before the sports gained widespread attention.
The athlete dominated her events at the Canadian national wheelchair championships, winning gold in the 60-metre dash (Class 2) in 18.3 seconds at Vancouver in 1973. In 1975, she won gold in pentathlon, dash, relays, swim relay, and slalom. Two years later, in Edmonton, she completed a gold medal sweep of all eight of her events by winning the Class 2-3 slalom in 1 minute, 39 seconds.
Earl was a member of Canada’s national women’s wheelchair basketball team from 1972, finishing fourth at the 1988 Paralympic Games at Seoul, South Korea. Two years later, she won bronze when Canada finished third at the 1990 world championships at Saint-Étienne, France.
Earl graduated with a physical education degree from the University of Alberta in Edmonton in 1975. She later helped the province develop a barrier-free transportation policy.
Born in Truro, N.S. And raised in Brookfield, Earl was left a paraplegic following a car accident in 1963. She was named Miss Paraplegia the following year by the Canadian Paraplegic Association and in 1965 toured Western Canada to speak about traffic safety.