Nfld. & Labrador

Terry Fox commemorated in new St. John's statue

A larger-than-life sculpture of Terry Fox was unveiled in St. John's Thursday, 32 years to the day that he launched his Marathon of Hope.
Rolly Fox holds the hand on a statue of his son, Terry Fox, soon after its unveiling in St. John's on Thursday. (CBC )

A larger-than-life sculpture of Terry Fox was unveiled in St. John's Thursday, 32 years to the day that the Canadian icon launched the Marathon of Hope to raise money for cancer research.

The bronze sculpture by artist Luben Boykov stands next to the spot where Fox dipped his artificial leg into St. John's Harbour, launching an iconic journey that would be cut short by the cancer Fox, 22, had been battling.

"By seeing the statue, we can get a sense of the excitement and the determination that was there with Terry on this very day," his brother, Darrell Fox, told CBC News.

Artist Luben Boykov sculpted Terry Fox as he appeared when he left St. John's on April 12, 1980. (CBC )

The statue displays an athletic Fox posed as he stood while dipping his toe, his body arched and appearing ready for a lengthy trek.

"It's a very good likeness. Really, it is," said Fox's father, Rolly Fox, as he stood beneath an umbrella moments after the unveiling.

The statue sits on what is now called the Terry Fox Mile Zero Memorial Site, which also features a smaller monument that had been placed there several years ago.

Funding for the statue was sponsored by the federal government and the City of St. John's.

Terry Fox drew only a small crowd of supporters when he launched his Marathon of Hope. His plan at the time had been to raise $24 million, or about one dollar for each Canadian at the time.

The Terry Fox Research Institute, which Fox's family launched several years ago to disburse funding for researchers and cancer-related projects, now collects almost $30 million per year. Overall, fundraisers in Fox's name have collected more than $600 million.

Moments before the unveiling, Rolly Fox said Boykov's statue captures his son's spirit, and will tell visitors a story.

"They will see courage … they will understand the sacrifice that Terry was prepared to make so that others might live," he said.