First Name: Andrew
Last Name: Haley
Sport: Swimming
Inductee Type: Athlete
Year Inducted: 2015
Home Town: North Sydney
County: Cape Breton County

Born in North Sydney, Cape Breton, world champion swimmer Andrew Haley was not discouraged by an early setback in his childhood. At age six Haley hurt his leg while playing with his twin brother and, upon visiting the hospital, was given the devastating news that he actually had bone cancer. With only a 35 percent chance of survival, Haley underwent an amputation of his right leg below the knee. He recovered only to discover the cancer had spread. With the same poor odds as before, Haley beat cancer a second time, losing part of a lung in the process.

Haley never accepted the prognosis of not being able to participate in sport and joined the Cape Breton Dorados swim team in 1989.
He then went on to swim on the varsity team during his time at Dalhousie University. He competed alongside able-bodied swimmers at Dal while beginning international competition at para-swimming events.

Always willing to put in 100 percent, Haley continued to perform well, setting his first of nine Canadian records when he claimed bronze in the 400m freestyle at the 1992 Paralympics. At the time, Paralympic sport received little attention in the media, and Haley soon became a big part of bringing it the recognition it deserved.

In 1994, he set his second Canadian record in the 100m freestyle at the Commonwealth Games in Victoria, BC. He not only won a gold medal, but also had his race televised nationally. These were the first Commonwealth Games that integrated athletes with disabilities. Haley made sure that Paralympic sport was recognized as equal to the Olympic movement.

After claiming three bronze at the 1994 World Championships, two bronze and two more national records at the 1996 Paralympic Gameswhere he was also team captainHaley finally became a World Champion in 1998. He swept the championships, taking home two gold, one silver, and one bronze. After being named Swim Team MVP by the University of Ottawa varsity team with which he was then swimming, he moved to Calgary to train at the National Sport Centre.

And he only gained momentum from there. In 2000, Haley competed in the Paralympic Games in Sydney, Australia, earning a bronze medal in the 100m butterfly and a gold medal as a member of the 4x100m medley relay. At the World Championships in 2002, Haley repeated his gold-medal performance in the 100m butterfly, setting a world record in the process. He also claimed bronze in the 400m freestyle event. Twice faced with only a 35 percent chance of survival and the possibility of limited athletic opportunities, Haley had exceeded all expectations to become the best in the world at his sport.

After attending his fourth Paralympics in 2004, competing in the 2006 World Championships and winning three bronze medals at the 2007 Para Pan American Games, Haley retired from competitive swimming and landed a job in sales with the Toronto Blue Jays. He is also a motivational speaker and especially enjoys sharing his story at the IWK children’s hospital with children who are working to overcome health issues as he did.


• Gold and Bronze at 2000 Sydney Paralympics
• 2 Bronze medals at 1996 Atlanta Paralympics
• Bronze medal at 1992 Barcelona Paralympics
• Gold and Bronze at 2002 World Championships
• World Record in 100m Butterfly: 2002
• 2 Gold, 1 Silver, and 1 Bronze at 1998 Worlds
• 3 Bronze medals at 1994 World Championships
• Gold medal at 1994 Commonwealth Games
• Set 9 Canadian records
• Competed in the 2004 Athens Paralympics