Victor Davis memorial ride kicks off in Guelph

September 10, 2009

Making a Difference

2009 marks the twentieth anniversary of the tragic death of Olympic swimming star and Guelph native Victor Davis. This morning, Victor’s brother Greg began a bike trek from Guelph to Montreal to honour Victor’s memory and to raise awareness of organ and tissue donation. When Victor died, his parents fulfilled his express wish that his organs be donated to help save the lives of others. You can find out more about Greg’s bike journey at

I was honoured to help send Greg off this morning as he started his journey at Victor Davis Pool.  Here are my remarks:

Good morning everyone. On behalf of the City of Guelph, I am pleased to welcome Greg Davis to our city.

We are honoured that you are kicking off your remarkable journey here in Guelph, at the pool that bears your brother’s name.

Guelph has always been extremely proud to be the birthplace of Victor Davis.

Victor was a national hero. Every school kid wanted to be like him. He inspired Canadians of all ages with his incredible talent and his many world records.

When tragedy struck, and Victor was killed at the age of 25, the country mourned the loss of a hero who had died far too young.

But the remarkable thing was, in death, Victor became a hero again – for a very different reason.

Victor’s organs were donated, and his gift impacted five people. 

I believe this is what truly makes him a hero. 

No matter how many records he broke – no matter how awe-inspiring he was in the pool – it was his organ donation that saved lives and made a difference for so many families. 

Victor’s most generous and heroic act was his decision to donate his organs, and to ensure his family knew about his wishes. 

So many Canadians looked up to Victor Davis and wanted to be like him.

Most of us will never be able to touch his achievements in the pool. But most of us can become organ donors. 

I want to thank another hero – Greg Davis.

 Greg, you are undertaking this bike ride to draw attention to organ donation. Through your efforts, you will inspire many people to become organ donors, ultimately saving many more lives.

Thank you for carrying on Victor’s legacy in this way.

I wish you all the best in your journey. We are honoured that you have begun it in Guelph.

Thank you.  


About Karen Farbridge

An unwavering change maker seeking a just, democratic and sustainable world.

View all posts by Karen Farbridge

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