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Terry Fox Mile 0 Site

On April 12, 1980, Terry Fox dipped his artificial foot in the Atlantic Ocean off St. John's, Newfoundland, to begin his journey across Canada in aid of cancer research. He ran in all weather, sometimes accompanied, sometimes alone, setting a pace of about 40 km a day. His “Marathon of Hope,” a 5,373-kilometre run, or nearly a marathon per day for 143 days, on one leg, is an outstanding feat of athleticism.

On the thirtieth anniversary of the Marathon of Hope, the Government of Canada, in cooperation with the City of St. John’s and the St. John’s Port Authority, announced they would together invest in the development of a memorial site at the place where Terry Fox started his incredible journey in 1980.

Over the past two years, the three partners have invested over $400,000 in the development of a site that would appropriately honour the place where Terry Fox started his Marathon of Hope. The Government of Canada invested $300,000 in the development of the Terry Fox Mile 0 Site and creation of the Terry Fox statue, the City of St. John’s invested $100,000 and the St. John’s Port Authority contributed $40,000 as well as the land.

The many elements incorporated into the Terry Fox Mile 0 Site work together to pay tribute to Terry’s legacy, spirit and determination. These elements include a lifelike bronze sculpture of Terry dipping his foot in the water at the site where he began his Marathon of Hope in1980; interpretive panels; interpretive landscaping; and the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada plaque, commemorating Terry Fox as a person of national historic significance.

The site also includes the winning entries of the “What Terry Fox Means to Me” youth challenge, which was launched in September 2010 by the Government of Canada, in collaboration with the Fox family and Terry Fox Foundation. The contest challenged young Canadians to submit a quote describing what Terry Fox meant to them and a design showing their interpretation of the route Terry Fox followed on his Marathon of Hope.

The finalist for the English quote is Andrew Schulz from the Fraser Lake Elementary-Secondary School, Fraser Lake, British Columbia:

“Terry’s courageous first step. His determination to overcome. His hope for a cure. We are inspired to continue the journey.”

The French quote finalist is Alyssa Villeneuve from the St. Patrick Catholic Elementary School, Rockland, Ontario:

“Tu as descendu la route du courage et tu nous a enseigné à avoir toujours de l’espoir.” (You walked down courage lane and taught us to never give up hope. [Translation])

Finally, the design concept finalist is Ashley Murray from the Barnhill Memorial Hill School, Saint John, New Brunswick.

The Terry Fox Mile 0 Site is a place for all Canadians to be inspired by the legacy of a great Canadian icon.

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News Release associated with this Backgrounder.