Forest Honours Paralympic Medalist Tyler McGregor (GALLERY)
Forest native and Paralympic medalist Tyler McGregor was the guest of honour at his former high school Tuesday morning.
North Lambton Secondary School held an assembly to recognize McGregor’s sledge hockey accomplishments including winning a silver medal at the 2018 Paralympic Games in Pyeongchang.
Even though the 24-year-old was roughly 10,000 km away from his Forest home, McGregor says he could feel all the support from his community during the games.
“My parents were telling me what everyone was saying, sending me pictures of all the signs hanging up in stores and just seeing people’s posts, I felt that,” says McGregor. “I guess that’s one of the most special things about being from a small town is that everybody rallies together through the good times and bad, and I feel lucky to be apart of that.”
During his speech, McGregor was brought to tears when he began talking about the heartbreaking loss in the gold medal game. Canada was leading 1-0 with less than a minute to play before the US tied the game and eventually won it in overtime 2-1.
McGregor says it may take a gold medal in Beijing in 2022 to finally get over the loss.
“That game will haunt me for a long time. We were 37 seconds away from something that I’ve dreamed of doing for a very long time, but we have another chance in four years,” he says. “The one thing I’ve learned is that if you want a gold medal you just have to go take it. From now until we get to Beijing, we have the mindset that we’re going to take a gold medal and no one is going to stop us.”
The silver medal adds to the bronze medal McGregor won in Sochi in 2014, which is on full display in many of the pictures the local star was taking with fans during Tuesday’s ceremony.
Tabetha Burley, a local realtor born with Cerebral Palsy, was in attendance. She says she didn’t miss a game during Team Canada’s run in Pyeongchang.
“I said to him you got bronze and silver so in four years you can bring home the gold, you can have them all,” says Burley. “I think it’s important for people to see what Tyler was talking about– if you set your mind to a dream you can accomplish anything you want to.”
McGregor finished as Canada’s top scorer and was third among all skaters with eight goals and five assists in his second Paralympic games.