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TURNER Tyler
Sport Para snowboard
NPC Canada   
GenderMen
Age34
Place of BirthSaskatoon, CAN
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Type of Impairment
Limb deficiency
Origin of Impairment
Acquired
Classification
SB-LL1
Further Personal Information
Family
Partner Kayleen
Residence
Campbell River, BC, CAN
Occupation
Coach
Languages
English
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
Before he took up snowboard, he began skiing at age three behind a snowmobile on a frozen lake in Saskatoon, SK, Canada. "I've skied for as long as I could walk. Maybe at about eight or 10 years old I got a snowboard. Let's call it 19 years of [able-bodied] snowboarding. It had been mentioned a lot right at the hospital, 'Para snowboard can be for you' and everything."
Why this sport?
One of his goals after his amputation was to compete in snowboarding. "I got back to snowboarding, I got back surfing, rock climbing, all the sports I love."
Name of coach
Gregory Picard [national], CAN; Mark Fawcett [national]
General Interest
Hobbies
Sailing, surfing, skydiving, skateboarding, rock climbing, mountain biking, wingsuit flying. (Athlete, 03 Mar 2022; YouTube channel, 27 Aug 2020; livingwithamplitude.com, 04 Aug 2020; mountainlifemedia.ca, 08 Jun 2020)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning gold in the individual and team snowboard cross events at the 2021 World Championships in Lillehammer, Norway. (Athlete, 03 Mar 2022)
Hero / Idol
US climber Dean Potter, US snowboarder Craig Kelly. (Athlete, 03 Mar 2022)
Superstitions / Rituals / Beliefs
"What I've really worked on this season [2021/22] is to practise so much that it's automatic and you don't have to think about it anymore. About 10 minutes before my race I stop thinking about it, I think about surfing, I think about just having fun." (paralympic.ca, 24 Feb 2022)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"A lot of people have a big switch after an injury like this. They flip their lives 180 degrees. I haven't had that. I'm the same dude chasing the same goals, doing the same things I did before." (mountainlifemedia.ca, 08 Jun 2020)
Other sports
He competed at the 2020 Para Surfing World Championship in La Jolla, CA, United States of America. (vicnews.com, 15 Mar 2020)
Milestones
He became the first snowboarder representing Canada to win a gold medal at the Paralympic Winter Games when he triumphed in the SB-LL1 snowboard cross event at the 2022 Games in Beijing. The medal was also the first of any colour won by a male snowboarder representing Canada at the Paralympic Winter Games. (SportsDeskOnline, 07 Mar 2022; paralympic.ca, 07 Mar 2022)
Ambitions
To win a medal at the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing. (Facebook profile, 10 Sep 2020; livingwithamplitude.com, 04 Aug 2020)
Impairment
In 2017 he was involved in a skydiving accident that saw him crash-land and suffer injuries to both legs. His right leg was amputated below the knee immediately after the accident, and he was in a coma for four days. After a year of rehabilitation in attempt to save his other leg, he decided to also have his left leg amputated below the knee. He underwent the procedure in November 2018. "My left leg was completely useless and my foot was paralysed and the nerve pain was incredible. When I was told that I was going to have my second leg amputated I was very excited. You can't put your energy into pushing forward until you accept where you're at." (cheknews.ca, 08 Apr 2021, 04 Apr 2021; Instagram profile, 25 Nov 2020; mountainlifemedia.ca, 08 Jun 2020; vicnews.com, 15 Mar 2020)
Other information
OVERCOMING DIFFICULTY
He struggled with his mental health and an addiction to prescription medication during the six-month period between his discharge from hospital and his second leg amputation. He stopped taking all medication a month after his second amputation. "I was not in a happy place that year [2018], waiting for my other leg to be amputated. It was a really bad, really dark place. I'd come out of the hospital on a power prescription. When you are that messed up, the doses are high, and they prescribe a lot of them. And I took them all. [Stopping taking the medication] was insane. Nine of the worst days of my life. It was just like every movie. I went crazy, didn't sleep at all for nine days. I'd stay up all through the night and do laps around downtown Victoria [BC, Canada] in my wheelchair. And then, two or three weeks later, I started feeling better." (mountainlifemedia.ca, 08 Jun 2020)

WINGSUIT QUEST
He has trained to become a wingsuit pilot, and in July 2020 he made his first training flight using a tracking suit. "After my amputation, I talked to a lot of the [wingsuit] manufacturers, and they said they'd never heard of a bilateral amputee being a wingsuit pilot. So I said, 'Well let's do that'. I just have a goal of flying an actual wingsuit. It's never been done [by a bilateral amputee]. If I'm going to do it, I'm not going to take the cheap, easy way to do it. I'm going to do it in a way that's respected by the skydive and wingsuit community. I want to do it right. If anyone out there wants to learn to wingsuit, send them to me and I'll let them know what the next five years of their life look like. You're looking at a minimum of 200 skydives before even considering a tracking suit. It's a big commitment of time and money. Set yourself up for success, and there really isn't a limit as an amputee." (Toyota Canada YouTube channel, 26 Jun 2021; cheknews.ca, 08 Apr 2021; livingwithamplitude.com, 04 Aug 2020; Instagram profile, 25 Jul 2020)

OCCUPATION
Before his accident he was a skydiving instructor and airborne photographer in Victoria, BC, Canada. He has since returned to full-time work as a skydiving instructor. "It took a lot of work to get my coaching stuff recurrent [after his amputation] and kind of had to get tested a little more, to ensure I was up to the standards. I was able to pass everything and do it really well. I got signed off across the board for all my previous ratings even though I was able to accomplish a higher level coaching rating." (Toyota Canada YouTube channel, 26 Jun 2021; campbellrivermirror.com, 12 Apr 2021; livingwithamplitude.com, 04 Aug 2020; mountainlifemedia.ca, 08 Jun 2020)

Competition Highlights (historical)
World Championships
Rank Year Event Result
3 2021/2022 Banked Slalom - Lower Limb 1 Impaired  
1 2021/2022 Snowboard Cross - Lower Limb 1 Impaired  
1 2021/2022 Snowboard Cross Team Event  
Paralympic Games
Rank Year Event Result
1 2022 Snowboard Cross - Lower Limb 1 Impaired  
3 2022 Banked Slalom - Lower Limb 1 Impaired 1:12.84