OTTAWA -- Twenty years ago, Ottawa’s Mike Nemesvary, the famous freestyle skier who was injured in a trampoline accident, became the only quadriplegic to drive around the world, raising money for spinal cord research.

On Sunday, he was doing it again, just in a different way.

With multiple freestyle World Cup victories in the mid 80s, Nemesvary ruled the freestyle skiing world.

But at age 24, a routine trampoline exercise ended in tragedy.

"I felt, well I’ll go out and stretch my legs, and I started gaining height," says Nemesvary.

What happened next would forever change his life.

"And then I threw what's called a full-in full-out, a double-twisting, double-back somersault. At the apex of the jump. I blacked out and came down and landed right on my neck. And from then on, its lights out, new life begins."

The devastating trampoline injury left him a quadriplegic. Still, it didn’t slow him down when it came to having an impact on the world. 

"I drove literally 21 countries, doing all the driving myself," says Nemesvary.

Twenty years ago, the now 60-year-old disability activist set out on an international journey in his specially modified truck. Dedicated to expanding on spinal cord research, and in that time, raising more than $1.5 million.

"I used to see longevity as a curse, because it is hard," says Nemesvary. "Aging is hard whether you’re disabled or able bodied. But I now see longevity as a blessing and as a means to give back."

Today, Nemesvary has his sights set on a greater financial goal and an even greater commitment to those living with disabilities.

"We’ll be going to exactly the same countries, exactly the same route. But we’re going to do it the only way any of us can do anything, which is in a virtual method. As I like to call it, virtuality," says Nemesvary.

One of his biggest supporters is his partner of 19 years, Mary Anne McPhee, who has been along for the ride since the very start.

"I’m certainly honoured and proud to be a part of this. I’m very proud of Mike," says McPhee. "He’s always set very high goals for himself. He works to achieving those goals no matter what. Just post injury those goals have shifted."

 New goals and a new world tour that will take him across the globe once again. Doing what he loves, helping others.

"Back at age 24 when I broke my neck, I thought that was lights out and there would be nothing left to live for," says Nemesvary. "But it’s been exactly the opposite."

To support Mike Nemesvary and his virtual journey, you can visit