OTTAWA, Dec. 11 /CNW/ - The name of an everyday hero, who continues to touch the hearts of Canadians three decades after his ambitious cross-country run to find a cure for cancer, will be etched on a brand-new award presented to an athlete competing at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
The Vancouver 2010 Terry Fox Award will be presented during a public ceremony in downtown Vancouver on February 27, 2010 to an Olympian, who may be from any country participating in the Games.
"Few people have touched the soul of this great nation like Terry Fox did on his Marathon of Hope in 1980 and continue to do so every year as hundreds of thousands of Canadians remember him on runs held from coast to coast to coast in support of cancer research," said John Furlong, Chief Executive Officer of the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC).
Furlong announced the creation of the award today with the Fox family at an event in Ottawa, ON, held in an area across from the Parliament Buildings that contains an iconic statue of the legendary young amputee runner from Port Coquitlam, BC, and the countdown clock for the 2010 Winter Games.
"This award will be presented to an athlete who embodies the same values that Terry Fox did," Furlong continued. "This athlete will be someone who is the epitome of determination in motion, who pushed on no matter what the pain or obstacles in their path and touched Canada and the world by displaying humility and selflessness in their treatment of others both on and off the field of play - a veritable hero."
The athlete will be selected by a small panel comprised of well-known CTV sportscaster Brian Williams, Olympian and VANOC board member Charmaine Crooks, a member of the Fox Family, and Tricia Smith, an honorary mayor of the Olympic and Paralympic Village Vancouver during the Olympic Winter Games.
"We sincerely appreciate the efforts of John Furlong and the VANOC team to acknowledge Terry in 2010 - a year that marks the 30th anniversary of the Marathon of Hope," said his brother, Darrell Fox. "As a teenager, Terry was an avid athlete in basketball, soccer and rugby and would be proud to be recognized on the world stage as part of the Olympic Winter Games."
On April 12, 1980, Terry Fox set out with little fanfare from St. John's, NL, on an ambitious - and at that time unheard of - cross-country run to help raise funds for cancer research. The image of him running with a prosthetic leg, the result of a bone cancer diagnosis and amputation at age 18, made a deep and emotional impact on Canadians as he ran on his Marathon of Hope and they opened their hearts and their wallets for his cause.
After running 143 days and 5,373 kilometres through Atlantic Canada, Quebec and much of Ontario, his journey was cut short outside of Thunder Bay, ON, on September 1, 1980 when cancer appeared in his lungs. He passed away at the age 22 on June 28, 1981 but his dream lives on with annual Terry Fox Runs throughout Canada and internationally. To date, close to $500 million has been raised worldwide for cancer research in his name and his journey has inspired others to follow in his footsteps. For more information, visit www.terryfox.org.
VANOC is responsible for the planning, organizing, financing and staging of the XXI Olympic Winter Games and the X Paralympic Winter Games in 2010. The 2010 Olympic Winter Games will be staged in Vancouver and Whistler from February 12 to 28, 2010. Vancouver and Whistler will host the Paralympic Winter Games from March 12 to 21, 2010. Visit www.vancouver2010.com.
SOURCE VANCOUVER ORGANIZING COMMITTEE FOR THE 2010 OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC WINTER GAMES
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