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John is the first to admit that it was only with the help of many friends, family, donors and volunteers from across the country that enabled him to accomplish this incredible endeavour, but it was John who rode all those miles (100 km/day, three days on and one day "off" - usually fundraising) and it was also John who ended up in hospital for several months on completion of the tour. He was septic and needed surgery for a pressure sore that had shown itself in Thunder Bay, Ontario and grown considerably by the time John reached his goal of "Mile 0" in Victoria and then up to Whistler. He would just not give up when all of these people had stood beside him in support.
The weeks of laying in hospital didn't dampen John's philanthropic spirit and along with many dedicated volunteers, in the years after the cross-Canada tour John carried on raising money, hosting several very successful "Reserved" charity dinners, raising enough additional funds to endow the $6 million John Penny Ryan B.C. Leadership Chair for Spinal Cord Research at UBC.
I could easily expound on more of John's virtues and reasons for the community to honour him as an athlete and an ambassador of Whistler, but suffice it to say that he is completely and totally worthy of bearing the Olympic torch and it should be considered a complete embarrassment to organizers that he was not asked.
Transit has worked
Re: Transportation Embarrassment and We'll Get There Together (Pique letters, Feb. 18)
Sorry that your experience on Saturday night was a poor one. It really sounds like it was a miserable moment, hands down. However, please take the time to reflect on your positioning when talking on behalf of all. Your letter was derogatory, lacked in a positive world view and offered up a true recipe for disaster. Fire those who have done such an amazing job? I don't think so.
Again, sorry to hear about your terrible experience. Hopefully such a "disaster" won't happen again.
To all who have worked hard to make our transport experience an awesome one, thank you! We, as a greater community (including Squamish and Pemberton) were asked to please leave our cars at home, to utilize the transit system and to have faith that it was all going to work out. That it has!
I for one could not be more proud and happier to experience an almost car-free environment - and we owe it all to those who came together to make it happen. Again, thank you.