I’m not one to make assumptions, but I’ll go out on a limb and state that I’m quite certain there isn’t a Canadian born before 1975 that wasn’t moved by Terry Fox.
Here at home, Fox is considered one of our greatest. He wasn’t a hockey player, a politician, a writer or a rock star. Terry was just one of us, except that he lost a leg to cancer in the prime of his life, and then spent his remaining time on earth running across Canada to raise funds and awareness of the disease (and, sadly, fighting the cancer that would cut his marathon – and life – all too short). So, yeah, he transcended that ordinary guy role and became an inspiration for millions.
I have two vivid childhood memories of Terry Fox: a campy but cool 1980 jingle promoting his Marathon of Hope on television, and footage of his funeral on CBC. I was at my grandmother’s that summer, and I remember reflecting how unfair it was that he was taken from us so soon when we were just getting to know him. Here I am 29 years later, and I am still amazed at the legacy Terry left Canadians. And we’re still running for him.
Steve Nash is about my age and was as equally moved during that era, so much that he co-directed a new movie about Terry’s life, Into The Wind, which premiered at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival. Terry’s story has been told several times through print and film, although I’m unsure how many times his life has been examined through the lens of another athlete, let alone one as prolific as Nash.
The film is part of ESPN’s “30 for 30″ series and will premiere September 28 on the network. If you’re unaware of Terry’s story, please tune in. I don’t imagine that Nash will be breaking new cinematic ground or finding a future beyond the NBA, but give him credit for his desire to share this story of one of Canada’s most beloved icons. And I will promise you this: you will be moved.