October 9, 2011
Inspirations: Rick Hansen
RICK HANSEN - Rick Hansen is a Canadian Paralympic athlete who has raised millions of dollars for spinal cord injury research and inspired others to make a difference in their communities. Despite sustaining injuries from a motor vehicle accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down, he completed High School and then went on to graduate in Physical Education from the University of British Columbia. Rick Hansen has won national championships in wheelchair volleyball and basketball; won gold, silver, and bronze in 2 Summer Paralympics; won 3 World Championships in wheelchair racing; and was one of the torch bearers for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. But the thing he is most noted for is his Man in Motion World Tour. From 1985 to 1987, he wheeled 792 days over 24,900 miles (40,073 k) through 34 counties raising $26 million dollars. The trek was inspired by a once fellow wheelchair basketball teammate Terry Fox, an amputee who had lost his leg to cancer. 5 years earlier in 1980, Terry Fox had embarked upon his own cross-Canada Marathon of Hope to raise awareness for Cancer research, but was forced to end his run to receive further treatment for the cancer which would eventually take his life. At the spot on the Trans-Canada Highway where Fox had to end his marathon, Rick Hansen would later stop during his tour to pay tribute to his friend. For more information go to the CBC Rick Hansen: Man in Motion Archive and the Rick Hansen Foundation.