Archives: Steve Fonyo completes Journey for Lives

This day in Vancouver history: May 29, 1985

One day after being celebrated at B.C. Place Stadium and then transported to Vancouver Island aboard the naval destroyer HMCS Qu'Appelle, 19-year-old Steve Fonyo competes the final leg of his 14-month, cross-Canada “Journey for Lives” after reaching the Mile 0 marker of the Trans-Canada Highway in Victoria.

Thousands of people lined the highway along the Saanich Peninsula to cheer on the one-legged runner following in the footsteps of Terry Fox, who was forced to abandon his Marathon of Hope four years earlier, while also raising millions of dollars for cancer research.

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Fonyo ended his journey by dipping his artificial leg in the Pacific Ocean and emptying a bottle of Atlantic water he filled when his run began in St. John's, Nfld. on March 31, 1984. Later the same year, he became the youngest person to be named an Officer of the Order of Canada, although the award was revoked in 2010 after a string of criminal offences related to a cocaine addiction, including assault with a weapon, fraud, impaired driving, and possession of a stolen vehicle.

The beach where he ended his run remains named Steve Fonyo Beach in his honour.

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