No Canadian had ever won a medal in snowboarding at the Paralympics. Although to be fair, we have won a lot of medals in a heap of other Paralympic sports. But never in snowboarding.
But then March 7, 2022, came along. And suddenly, we have two new medals in Paralympic snowboarding.
First, Saskatchewan’s Lisa DeJong won silver in women’s snowboarding. And then, a few minutes later, Tyler Turner crushed the competition to bring home the gold.
It truly was a banner day.
Turner took the lead right from the start. The other snowboarders tried to catch up, but he was so fast that no one could even touch him. The gold was his the whole time.
“There’s no stopping the unstoppable Tyler Turner,” said the Paralympic race commentators.
That seems to be Turner’s whole story—he just doesn’t stop.
A skydiving accident damaged both his legs so severely he needed to have them amputated. But the day after they removed his second leg, he was popping wheelies in the hospital.
In less than two years, he was snowboarding in Revelstoke at the ski hill where he used to work.
“I got back as early as humanly possible, because I love snowboarding. It’s my entire life,” Turner told Sportsnet. “And so, I pushed it pretty early. It was extremely painful, but also really rewarding to realize early on that I was still going to be capable of doing it.”
Getting to the gold medal hasn’t been easy.
“It’s a struggle. Every day it’s pretty tough for me to get up and put my legs on and get out the door,” he said in a statement.
“The sports I pursue and the passions I have are what get me out the door every day… It’s all about just having fun and putting a smile on your face. And for me, this is the kind of stuff that puts a smile on my face.”
Turner was smiling brighter than his gold medal when he won.