Canadian Paralympian Tyler McGregor completes fundraising skate in B.C. on world's longest ice trail

Canadian Paralympic hockey player Tyler McGregor in Collingwood, Ont., after finishing a stop on his Sledge Skate of Hope campaign in 2021. On Monday, he made his third stop of this year's campaign on B.C.'s Lake Windermere Whiteway. (Tyler McGregor/Instagram - image credit)
Canadian Paralympic hockey player Tyler McGregor in Collingwood, Ont., after finishing a stop on his Sledge Skate of Hope campaign in 2021. On Monday, he made his third stop of this year's campaign on B.C.'s Lake Windermere Whiteway. (Tyler McGregor/Instagram - image credit)

Canadian Paralympic hockey captain Tyler McGregor has completed a 42-kilometre skate on the world's longest ice skating trail near Invermere, B.C., as part of his cross-country campaign to raise funds for cancer research.

On Monday morning, the 28-year-old athlete made his third stop of his Sledge Skate of Hope campaign this year at the Lake Windermere Whiteway. The 30-kilometre outdoor ice track was named by the Guinness World Records in 2014 as the longest of its kind in the world. 

"The lake is incredible, as is the community," he said. "Extremely thrilled to be here."

McGregor's feat followed a 42-kilometre skate at Halifax's Emera Oval and the same length at Calgary's Bowness Park earlier this month. He still has seven more runs of 42 kilometres each to make in other Canadian provinces by Feb. 11.

Corey Bullock/CBC
Corey Bullock/CBC

McGregor led Canada's para hockey team to silver at the Beijing Paralympic Winter Games in 2022, after winning a bronze and a silver with Team Canada at the 2014 Sochi and 2018 Pyeongchang Paralympic Winter Games, respectively.

Inspired by Terry Fox's Marathon of Hope

Growing up in Forest, Ont., McGregor was diagnosed with spindle cell sarcoma — an extremely rare bone cancer — after he had broken his left leg at a hockey game at 15. He underwent leg amputation afterward.

McGregor said he was able to survive his ordeal thanks to the cancer research funded by the Terry Fox Foundation's Marathon of Hope, an annual charity event that he has participated in since childhood.

Corey Bullock/CBC
Corey Bullock/CBC

McGregor said the Marathon of Hope inspired him to launch Sledge Skate of Hope, and he hopes his campaign will encourage young people facing challenges to strive for whatever they want to accomplish.

"I'm thinking about the young boy or girl who may be missing a limb and is questioning or doubting themselves and what they're capable of, [but] I hope it's a signal of possibility for anyone."

McGregor started his campaign in February 2021, raising more than $30,000 for the Terry Fox Foundation within two weeks. He aims to raise a total amount of $100,000 this year.

Invermere Mayor Al Miller said his municipality is proud to host the third stop of the Sledge Skate of Hope campaign.

"It is unique — Terry Fox did his best to run right across this country, and that was fantastic in his day. Now, here, we've got Tyler doing the same thing, skating across Canada.

"It's fantastic."