Proud mom pleased with Olympic honour

Eight flagbearers

Eight flagbearers

Betty Fox was beaming Friday evening – and rightfully so.

The Chilliwack resident led the Olympic flag into B.C. Place for the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, alongside actor Donald Sutherland, race car driver Jacques Villeneuve, Olympic figure skater Barbara Ann Scott, singer Anne Murray, former Lt.-Gen. Romeo Dallaire, hockey icon Bobby Orr, and astronaut Julie Payette – all Canadian greats.

Viewing her confident, regal-looking stride, most would never have guessed that she was shaking with nerves.

“It was so scary,” she said. “I was concentrating on keeping in step with everyone else … I didn’t know when the end would come.”

She was still absorbing the experience three days later.

“Anne Murray is one of my favourite singers, and Barbara Ann Scott was my idol when I was about 13,” said Fox, who still remembers saving up her babysitting money as a kid just so she could purchase a pair of highly coveted Barbara Ann Scott ice skates.

But it was another Canadian legend filling her every thought – her son, Terry Fox.

“Terry was utmost in my mind,” she said. “I was very proud to be apart of the Olympic ceremony, but it was all for Terry. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t have been there.”

Thirty years ago, after losing his right leg to bone cancer three years earlier, Terry Fox embarked on his ‘Marathon of Hope.’ For 143 days, he ran a marathon a day (42.2 kilometres) for cancer research. And although he never completed his run across Canada, succumbing to cancer in June, 1981, he is for many Canadians, Canada.

Many wanted Betty to be the final torchbearer.

A Facebook group ‘Terry Fox’s mother to light the flame at the 2010 Olympics’ consisted of more than 129,000 members petitioning the Olympic organizing committee for more than a year to allow Betty to light the flame.

And while she was honoured by the notion, Betty felt the Olympic committee did a good job of representing her son with her leading the flag into B.C. Place, and her husband Rolly Fox running with the torch through Stanley Park on Friday morning.

“They [the Olympic organizing committee] did us proud,” she said.

“I am very honoured that so many people in Canada still believe in Terry 30 years later … just being there, being a part of the Olympics, was for me, all about Terry. I was there in place of Terry.”

kbartel@theprogress.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Information about the number of COVID-19 cases in Abbotsford and other municipalities poses a danger to the public, the Provincial Health Services Authority says. (Photo: Tyler Olsen/Abbotsford News)
More city-level COVID-19 data would jeopardize public health, B.C. provincial health agency says

Agency refuses to release weekly COVID-19 case counts, citing privacy and public health concerns

Inez Louis opens up about testing positive for COVID-19 on Dec. 3, 2020. (Inez Louis/Facebook)
Juno-nominated singer and Indigenous health planner goes public about testing positive for COVID-19

In a livestream from bed, Inez Louis begs everyone to ‘do the right thing’ and follow health orders

Former Hope resident Jason Thomas Graff is set to be sentenced on charges of telecommunicating to lure a child and posession of child pornography at the Chilliwack Law Courts Jan. 28. (File photo)
Former Hope resident to be sentenced for child luring in Chilliwack court

Sentencing Jan. 28 at Chilliwack Law Courts following offences in Hope, Vancouver Island

A black-capped chickadee tolerates the 40 below zero weather. (File)
Harrison Christmas Bird Count taking flight

Local bird watchers help with worldwide bird tracking effort

RCMP don’t want to see you having your vehicle towed away after an aggressive driving infraction. (RCMP photo)
Chilliwack RCMP hand out more than 500 tickets in aggressive driving crackdown

Police say they’ll continue to focus on speeding, aggressive and distracted driving

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

Melissa David, of Parachutes for Pets and her dogs Hudson and Charlie are trying to raise money for a homeless shelter that will allow pets and are seen in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘My only wish:’ Children asking pet charity to help their furry friends at Christmas

Parachutes for Pets says it has received 14 letters from children in the last week t

Melissa Velden and her chef-husband Chris Velden, stand in their dining room at the Flying Apron Inn and Cookery in Summerville, N.S. on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. The couple is hosting holiday parties with appropriate distancing and other COVID-19 health protocols in place at their restaurant. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Celebrities, Santa and Zoom part of office holiday parties being held amid COVID-19

Many will send tokens of appreciation to workers or offer time off or cash

Cops converge in a Marshall Road parking lot on Thursday afternoon (Dec. 3) after an inmate escaped from corrections officers. The man was taken back into custody a short while later. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
UPDATE: Prisoner shot at by guards in Abbotsford had history of escapes

Stephane Bissonnette escapes from corrections officers, but is arrested a short while later

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

(Pixabay)
Canadians’ mental health has deteriorated with the second wave, study finds

Increased substance use one of the ways people are coping

Most Read