Marathon of Hope runner Terry Fox's attempted cross-Canada run to raise money for cancer research earned him a place on Canada's Walk of Fame on Saturday and drew the loudest cheers, 32 years after his tragic death.
A legion of fans endured a steady drizzle outside Toronto's Elgin Theatre and came as far away as British Columbia to chant the name of the late one-legged athlete and humanitarian.
"We're so proud," said Rolland "Rolly" Fox, Terry's father, who collected the honour on his son's behalf and wore Terry's image on his lapel.
The elder Fox believes his son would have felt "honoured" by his induction, but despite Terry's indelible and visible impact — with the annual Terry Fox Run now raising millions worldwide — he would, as a father, have no hesitation in taking it all back. In fact, Rolly's late wife, Betty, once called the famed run a "stupid thing to want to do."
"It's true that if Betty and I could have talked him out of it, we would have," said Fox. "But he was of age, and there was no way we could have stopped him. He would have gone regardless.
"The fight against cancer continues, and one day we will have a cure for all cancers."
Burnaby soccer star, Mission singer honoured
It was an odd and varied crowd indeed that came out for the Walk of Fame induction ceremony, a testament to the diverse eight-person class of famous Canadians awarded stars this year.
Young people armed with camera phones came to glimpse pop songbird Carly Rae Jepsen, who was not inducted but was on hand to receive the Allan Slaight Award; others were clad in Team Canada red and cheered on Olympic hero and inductee Christine Sinclair; others still came out in support of music producer Bob Ezrin, actors Victor Garber and Alan Thicke, human-rights advocates Craig and Marc Kielburger, and the late pianist Oscar Peterson.
Peterson and Fox are the two posthumous inductees this year, a rare exception from the one-per-year rule in recognition of the Walk of Fame's 15th anniversary.
The awards will be televised on Oct. 27 on Global.