In his second Paralympic appearance, the Quebec City native was able to improve on the bronze medal he won in the same event in Rio in 2016.
The 24-year-old was in fourth place at the 50-metre turn halfway through the race. After a strong push, he was able to overtake both Thomas van Wanrooij of the Netherlands and Vladimir Sotnikov of the Russian Paralympic Committee in the second half of the race.
“It’s real, but it still feels surreal to me … think it’s a reward for my resilience, my willingness to get on that podium here, I’m very proud again of what I’ve done today,” Turbide told CBC Sports post-race.
The medal is Canada’s second in the pool and fourth overall through two days of competition at The Games.
Belarus’ Ihar Boki won the gold medal, racing both a world and Paralympic record time of 56.36, breaking his own world record and winning his 13th career gold medal. Sotnikov won bronze, finishing .16 seconds behind Turbide.
Turbide also finished second behind Boki at the World Para Swimming Championships in London in 2019, where he captured his first world championship medal.
“I feel pretty emotional tonight, actually. It’s not my usual self, but I had a year and a half filled with injuries that actually made me doubt that I would come here today at these Games,” he said.
Swimming Canada’s Male Para-swimmer of the Year in 2016 and 2018, Turbide struggled with lower back issues, a disc bulge and muscle spasms in the lead-up to The Games.
“Every time I was pushing off the wall or doing a flip turn it would make it completely unbearable to the point where I had to stop for a couple of weeks in February,” he said. “Getting back to this level where I was in London in 2019 and finishing in the same position is just a full circle that closed itself.”
Turbide was born with oculocutaneous albinism, a condition that causes lack of melanin pigment and impaired vision. He once described his vision as being “not blind, but my eyes are like a camera that does not have a zoom.”
The Club de Natation Région de Québec swimmer will also be competing in the 50m freestyle S13 event on Sunday.