Terry Night


At 21 years old,
three years after having his right leg amputated
and recovering from cancer,
Terry Fox ran a marathon - 26 miles - every day for 143 days;
making it two thirds of the way across Canada
for a total of 3,339 miles.

When I was in Vancouver in January - two weeks before the start of the 2010 Winter Olympics - and saw the statue of Russia's and China's mass-murdering Communist tyrants - Lenin and Mao - strategically placed outside a main Olympic venue where thousands of athletes and spectators would soon be seeing it, I was ashamed of Canada and embarassed for being Canadian. See CANADA COMMIE LENIN-MAO STATUE & LENIN-MAO MOCK CANADA OLYMPICS

Then, miraculously, my pride in being Canadian was restored in the ensuing seventeen days - Feb 12th to 28th - when Canada's Olympians performed beyond anyone's wildest expectations - winning more gold medals than any other host nation in the history of the Olympics. No doubt all Canadians felt pride, a pride we hadn't collectively experienced since Terry Fox - the greatest athlete in Canada's history - won our hearts and minds and souls back in 1980 when he ran his Marathon of Hope.

Why, I started wondering (and expressing aloud to everyone I met) wasn't there a statue of TERRY FOX outside an Olympic venue - he who personifies everything an Olympian aspires to be and he who is an inspiration to all our Olympic athletes.

Why, for God's sake, is there a statue of Lenin and Mao in Vancouver (and also a statue of a bloody, decapitated, upside-down Anglo-Saxon head with the guts hanging out*) but not a statue of Terry Fox?

And why, during the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Olympics, wasn't Terry Fox honoured and symbolized above and beyond the nauseatingly stereotypical, politically-correct images of totem poles, bears, whales, sasquatches, marmots, moose, mounted police and the all-pervasive "inukshuks" - the statues made of stones that the Inuit use, or used to use, to find their way home on the barren Tundra.

There's even one of those inukshuks in Stanley Park - standing 20 feet tall and weighing 70,000 pounds - where rightfully a statue of Terry Fox belongs. Afterall, Stanley Park was the final destination of Terry's 5,000 mile run across Canada and the place where he was planning to dip his artificial leg into the Pacific Ocean - just like he'd done at the beginning in St. John's Newfoundland where he'd dipped it into the Atlantic Ocean.

watch Terry Fox beginning run on April 12, 1980, YouTube

And as if that's not enough reason for there to be a statue of Terry Fox in Stanley Park, how about the fact that Terry's middle name is "Stanley" and, in training for the Marathon of Hope, he used to run along the sea wall in Stanley Park.

I'm not alone in being offended - as a true-blooded Canadian - that the organizers of the Vancouver Olympics (held in Terry Fox's own home town) didn't take the opportunity to honour Canada's most beloved hero of all time. In the article below, a man named Lou Fine, who was with Terry for a section of the run (and is now 84-years-old), expresses how he feels about it:

Terry Fox Snub is an Olympic Flameout
Toronto Sun, Feb 15, 2010

     Terry Fox seems to be a hero in India but not so much at the Olympics in his own hometown. It was a monumental snub, just minutes from the very place the Marathon of Hope dream was conceived. And the person who was with Fox on his very final step of the 1980 Marathon of Hope wonders if Terry not being highlighted at the opening ceremony of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics is a sign of something even worse to come. "I worry about his legacy", Lou Fine said Monday from his Sudbury home. Thirty years on, the former Canadian Cancer Society Northern Ontario director -- Terry's "father on the road", as Fox's mother, Betty once called him -- says his biggest fear is 30 years from now the legendary one-legged runner will be nothing more than a footnote. "It can die, don't kid yourself", said Fine, who turns 84 Wednesday. Lou's concern showed itself to be real Friday night when Terry's image, voice, tears and accomplishments -- not to mention the cancer research development advancements because of his existence -- were not part of the opening ceremony. "The show was still good but I was surprised," Fine said.

     Aboriginal culture was appropriately celebrated as were Canada's bears, whales, sky, harvests, mountains, snowboarders and even well-paid Canadians such as k.d. Lang, Ashley MacIsaac, Bryan Adams and Nelly Furtado. But no Terry. It was as if Terry, who died of cancer June 28, 1981, was not a unique all-Canadian hero. His meaning to this country was, just like that, watered down -- so much so NBC actually called him Michael Fox and accidentally showed a picture of fellow Canadian great Michael J. Fox. It's kind of sick that the anarchist protesters got more media attention.

     Perhaps the best tribute paid to Terry this week was in Mumbai, India, where an inspirational Terry Fox run for cancer by 7,000 participants raised tens of thousands of dollars in the name of "Canada's Gandhi". It's like they get it there but we don’t get it here. In India they get it that a lot of Terry's footprint is not just in the steps he took on his 143-day, 5,373-km (3,339-mile) journey but in the hope he instilled in cancer patients of all ages he met and inspired along that route in 1980 and during the 30 years since.

     In Vancouver there was a cover-your-butt bone thrown by having Terry's mother, Betty, carry an Olympic flag in B.C. Place Stadium with other prominent Canadians such as astronaut Julie Payette, soldier Romeo Dallaire, Olympic gold-medal skater Barbara Ann Scott-King and actor Donald Sutherland. There is also to be an athlete honoured at the end of the Olympics with the Terry Fox Award. But is this enough for the young man who crystallizes Canadian spirit and sits in almost sainthood status in the hearts of many? So many were hoping for so much more. There were rumours of a computer-generated hologram of Terry helping light the flame or at least be part of the buildup to that. Many were waiting for a ground-breaking computerized show that, in essence from the afterlife, would have brought Terry doing a hop, skip and jump with his prosthetic leg into B.C. Place and on to the world stage -- an everlasting image of an extraordinary Canadian from a nation that is courageous, courteous, caring, gutsy, compassionate, innovative, kind and most of all generous. It could have been our Muhammad Ali moment. Perhaps even bigger. "I stayed up late to see that," Fine said. The magical moment didn't happen. "I was disappointed because I thought the hologram idea would have been striking," said Fine, who was with Fox in the Northern Ontario part of his run for seven weeks and said "Terry's focus was never on his own image but on finding a cure for cancer."

     Speaking to a B.C. TV station, straight-talking Betty Fox rightfully said "I would have been so honoured to have represented our son in that way. He did so much for Canada. It was a little disappointing." She is not the only Canadian disappointed. No knock on cauldron lighters Wayne Gretzky, Steve Nash, Nancy Greene, Rick Hansen or Catriona Le May Doan but Terry being included would have brought some extra-special patriotism, perhaps even immortality. Even when Gretzky was heading through Vancouver in the rain, people were thinking Betty would be waiting at the outer cauldron and together they would light the Olympic flame. "It would have been a fantastic moment," Fine said. The way it was done was confusing, not memorable and nothing to get emotional about. If Lou Fine wonders whether Terry's icon status can be downgraded at his hometown Olympics, then what’s next? "If we are to find a cure for cancer, Terry Fox's legacy has to live", Lou said. Mumbai, India seems to be doing its part. Perhaps there's still time for Terry's hometown Olympics to chip in, too.

[end quoting from Toronto Sun article]

All the best,
Jackie Jura













Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~

email: orwelltoday@gmail.com
website: www.orwelltoday.com