I just wanted to give you this [framed picture winning gold medal at 2008 Beijing Olympics] as a little token of gratitude for the role you played in getting me to where I am today. We both know that the road was long and more than a little bumpy, but you never gave up on me. If it had not been for your belief in me, there is no way I would have this gold medal. I had an amazing horse and a bit of luck that night in Hong Kong, and was able to show the world what I could do with my third chance! I hope I made you proud. I thought of you while I was standing on the podium, and I thank you for never giving up on me! Eric Lamaze
I wanted to write you a short note to try to start to say thank you. I say “start” because I’ll spend the rest of my life repaying your generosity in words and deeds. As stacked as the deck was against us, I remain convinced that nobody else could have accomplished the win that you secured at the hearing before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) – as you know, the sport world buzzed at the appeal verdict, particularly the way you were able to convey to the CAS panel the need to act in fairness, and to follow the law.
I spent most of my life traveling the world, racing for Canada – and have rarely been so joyful as on those rare and magical days when my efforts were enough to see the maple leaf flown and hear Oh Canada played; to have heard the sound of celebration from the crowd, and the sound of support from those who helped me on my journey. As you know, the consequences of an anti-doping charge can be devastating, and career ending for an athlete; there were many dark days for me during the legal process.
The energy of your efforts was a light during those difficult times, and your tireless work ended with a complete vindication for me, putting me “back on track” in time to race at the Paralympics in Beijing, giving me the chance to make my best efforts for myself, and my country.
Thank you for making that sound of support in my life. Thank you for rescuing my athletic career. Thank you for giving me my life back. Thank you most of all for your friendship and humanity throughout.
Over the course of 16 years my family and I have developed a profound respect and admiration for Tim Danson, our lawyer. From the moment we met Tim we knew that he was difference from your “typical” lawyer, his dedication, determination, and attention to detail has left us forever in his debt. Few lawyers take a personal interest in the cause of their client, and it is a fact that Tim poured his heart and soul into this action that places him in a class of litigators all his own. Tim never swayed in his dedication to our cause, and fought for us as though Todd were a member of his own family or at the very least, he was a member of ours. It is for these reasons, and others we cannot even begin to put into words that we wish to offer our most sincere and deepest thanks to Tim.
[The family of murdered police officer, Todd Baylis in an open letter to the Toronto Police Association published in the June 2011 Tour of Duty Magazine]
… Our lawyer, Tim Danson worked tirelessly to prepare this case for trial which was scheduled to begin on October 24, 2011. I can tell you that this was no small task, literally thousands of documents, gut wrenching photos of the shooting and hundreds of hours spent piecing together the last days of an officer’s life. For those who don’t know Tim Danson, he has a long history with our service and defending our members. He has been with us from the beginning and there was no better person to present this case.
[Detective Sergeant Mike Leone as part of an open letter to the Toronto Police Association published in the June 2011 Tour of Duty Magazine]
From the Zoricic Family to Tim Danson
Where to start … that dreadful day, March 10th 2012, when our world crumbled into pieces.
We knew Tim for many years as a member of the Craigleith Ski Club and could never have imagined that our destiny would get us close together over something so tragic… the loss of our son and brother. We first spoke to Tim to get his perspective on what had gone wrong and whether there could be lessons learned from this tragedy so that no other family would have to go through this. Tim was a friend who listened; he was a parent who understood; he was a lawyer who analyzed … We connected. Tim, with his amazing sensitivity, humanity, empathy and ability to convey complex information in simple ways, helped us to focus on what we all believed to be the only good that could come from something so bad – improving the safety of the sport for other athletes.
Needless to say, we knew that the legal fees associated with work of this nature would be enormous and not something that we would be able to afford. Tim felt the pain in our hearts and told us that he would help us free of charge, regardless of how extensive the work was, even if it resulted in a full trial. At a time of enormous grief and despair and when we were most vulnerable, Tim promised us that he would work with us to expose the errors that led to Nik’s death and make sure that there were important lessons to be learned, to make sure such that a tragedy would never happen again; that silence and indifference would not be Nik’s legacy, but rather positive, meaningful and constructive change to ensure skier safety would be Nik’s legacy. The endless hours, commitment and dedication that followed to effect a positive outcome would have stopped many, but not Tim.
This journey has connected us forever, and this connection is beyond being extremely impressed with Tim…. In a highly specialized legal industry, Tim definitely stands out with his high-energy, honesty, passion for justice, and dedication to what is right and fair. Tim stands out with his analytical, insightful and strategic mind. But above all of this, is his heart and passion…. We knew we were tackling a huge undertaking of getting the sport regulations changed based on lessons learned so that no other similar tragedy would occur again. Tim never gave up. He kept his word and so much more. Tim has given us constant support in forcing a critically important conversation about lessons to be learned and effective change. Tim always encouraged us, particularly in moments of weakness and great sadness, to keep the faith and to focus on Nik’s legacy; a legacy which stands for issues that are important to athletes and to the ski community who have been desperate for systemic and attitudinal changes to make the sport safer.
Tim has also helped with shaping the Nik Zoricic Foundation’s mandate and direction. NZ Foundation will focus on improving the safety of the sport over the many years to come. Tim’s input has given us the opportunity to challenge our assumptions and to look at the mandate from different perspectives.
From a personal point of view, we see Tim as our extended family now. It has been a very enriching experience in the most tragic circumstances imaginable. Thank you Tim from the bottom of our heart, not only for what you have done for us, but also for the sport of skiing and the athletes that continue to work hard in competing and proudly representing their countries in the international circuit.
With warmest regards,
Bebe, Silvia and Kat Zoricic