Tyler Turner in the Air

Photo Credit: Mike Cyr

Campbell River’s Comeback Kid – Snowboarder Wins Gold

Turner won nearly four years after a sky diving accident left him a double amputee

Campbell River athlete’s amazing recovery from life-changing accident

It seems nothing can keep Campbell River’s Tyler Turner down. This past April, nearly four years after a sky diving accident left him a double amputee, Turner claimed gold in a World Cup Para Snowboard Cross in Italy. The fact that it was Turner’s first time competing for Canada on the world stage was the icing on the cake for this inspiring 32-year-old.

“I don’t know if I still believe it yet,” Turner told Chek News on April 8 after returning from Italy with his gold medal.

His personal journey is almost as hard to believe. Immediately following the 2017 accident, doctors were forced to remove his right leg. Unfortunately, efforts to save his badly-damaged left leg were unsuccessful, so he went under the knife again.

Tyler said when the decision was made to amputate his remaining leg, he was excited to move beyond the almost constant pain he was experiencing and get back to the things he loves. And that’s exactly what he did.

Because his accident occurred while working, WorkSafe BC supported intense rehab that demanded learning how to walk on artificial limbs. But that was just the start.  

Turner quickly got back into snowboarding, surfing and wakeboarding, and he’s also jumping out of planes again and back working as a skydiving instructor.  

Today Turner’s quiver of high-tech prosthetics are built for action, enabling him to adjust things like knee flexion with the flick of a switch. His mother, Tannis Turner, says he’s been driven since a young age.

“From day one, he always said he’s not going to give up on his dreams and his goals and what he’s always wanted to do and what he loves to do,” Turner told Chek News via Zoom from her home in Vernon.

It turns out one of Turner’s goals was to compete on the world stage in snowboarding, and a life-changing accident didn’t prevent him from realizing that dream.

Now with a World Cup gold medal hanging on his wall,  Turner is aiming for the 2022 Beijing Paralympic Winter Games.