The wheelchair tennis community is in mourning after hearing the sad news that one of the true legends of the sport, Randy Snow, passed away on Thursday night.
A pioneer in the world of wheelchair sports, Randy set an example to all other athletes, playing both wheelchair tennis and basketball as well as being a fierce competitor in the sport of wheelchair racing. Randy broke barriers in 1984 when he won a silver medal in a wheelchair racing exhibition at the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, bringing exposure for the first time to disabled athletes.
Where Randy made the biggest mark, however, was in the world of tennis. During his playing career, he went on to become the world No. 1, and in 1992 won both the singles and doubles gold medals at the Paralympic Games in Barcelona, triumphing in the doubles event with best friend and founder of wheelchair tennis Brad Parks. He was also part of the bronze medal winning USA wheelchair basketball team in Atlanta in 1996.
Having been so successful in the game, Randy felt compelled to promote wheelchair tennis around the world, becoming an ambassador for the sport. As well as writing books, he also attended and hosted various wheelchair tennis clinics around the world, trying to touch as many people’s lives as possible. All his hard work was rewarded when he was inducted into the United States Olympic Hall of Fame in 2004. However, never one to rest on his laurels, Randy continued to travel the world to promote his love and passion for the sport.
A real personality on the tour, Randy made many friends and touched many people’s lives. His determination and dedication to promoting wheelchair sports around the world has been an example and an inspiration to all that knew him.
“The entire ITF family is saddened to hear of the death of Randy Snow. To us, he was much more than an icon in wheelchair tennis; he was a valued friend and colleague. Randy was a celebrated player who gave back to the sport in many ways including the development work he undertook in South America, Asia and Africa. Everyone at the ITF joins me in sending condolences to Randy’s family. We will miss him very much.” ITF President, Francesco Ricci Bitti
“As a friend and colleague of Randy, myself and the whole wheelchair tennis family are extremely sad to hear the news of Randy's death. Randy was a great champion and a true ambassador for our sport. He was a 10-time US Open champion, the first ITF World Champion, first NEC Masters champion, and an Olympic gold medallist. He has undertaken development work in several countries including Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, El Salvador, Paraguay, Vietnam, and South Africa, and has had a positive impact on the lives of so many people. He will be deeply missed.” Mark Bullock, ITF Wheelchair Tennis Manager