The cheering in Campbell River could almost be heard in Beijing as friends of 33-year-old snowboarder Tyler Turner won the gold medal in Para Snowboard cross Monday in Beijing.
“We were on our feet, screaming, crying,” said friend and co-worker Nicole Girard.
“It was electrifying. I have no voice from cheering him last night,” added Rob MacNeill, friend and co-worker at Capital City Skydiving in Campbell River.
But the cheering was more than just encouraging a friend to do well at the Paralympic games.
“Last night was very emotional for us because we saw him before the accident, we saw the accident and now we’re seeing him at the Olympics,” added Bob Verret, also a friend and co-worker at Capital City Skydiving.
The accident was a tragic and defining moment in Turner’s life. The all-around athlete also loves skydiving but in 2017 while filming a guest completing their first tandem skydive from 10,000 feet, Turner had a freak accident and both legs were eventually amputated.
However, soon after he was already talking about getting back on his snowboard and his determination led him to Beijing.
“I mean right after the accident it was his goal to go to the Olympics and that man sets a goal and there’s no stopping him, it’s incredible,” said Tamara Szewczyk.
“And he’s just a super humble guy, he’s very courageous and just inspiring as hell,” added Corina Jones.
Turner’s Paralympic Bio states: “Turner lost both legs below the knee because of a skydiving accident in 2017. He faced many challenges in a difficult recovery but has come back to making multiple jumps a day as a skydiving instructor in addition to his exploits in snowboarding. He also competes in adaptive surfing.”
Turner uses two prosthetic legs when he competes and he’ll be at it again tomorrow at the Beijing Paralympics in Hebei, China.