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Feb 2, 2011

MAN IN MOTION AGAIN

August 25th. 1985 Rick Hansen left a local mall in Vancouver in his wheelchair heading south. He had started on his epic journey to raise money and awareness for spinal cord injury research. 
The first 3 weeks took him through Washington and into Oregon. He went under his own steam pushing his wheelchair forward with his own muscle power and determination. He wheeled up the 2000 ft. Siskiyou Summit in Oregon. Wow.
Rick Hansen, one of Canada's most respected pa...Image via Wikipedia
Rick Hansen wheeled through 34 countries on four continents on a journey that took more than 2 years. This was the equivalent of doing more than two marathons a day. 
They raised around 26 million dollars for the cause. Remember that this was in 1985 through 1987 when they finished. 
I remember when he came back to B.C. and can still see him pushing, pushing, pushing those wheels around as his arms bulged and he propelled himself up one of our steeper hills in the area. So close and still so hard. 
Now the anniversary date is coming up soon. The Rick Hansen Foundation has so far raised more than $200,000,000 for cutting edge research, quality of life projects etc. 
Here are some facts from Rick Hansen's site:
Start and end dates: March 21, 1985–May 22, 1987
- Total distance: 40,598 km / 24,901.55 miles (the circumference of the Earth)
- Countries: 34 on four continents
- Average daily distance: 85 km
- Average speed: 8–10 km/hr in the city; 13–15 km/hr in the country
- Average daily hours wheeling: 8
- Wheelchair tires worn out: 160
- Biggest crowd: Tianjin China
- Highest summit: 1,700 m in the Alps
- Most homesick moment: Terry Fox Garden in Jerusalem
- Letters received: 200,007 

 Beginning in August 2011 in St. John's Newfoundland and Labrador there will be a relay to retrace the Canadian segment of the original tour. This time there will be about 7000 participants from across Canada who have each made a difference in the lives of others. 
This relay will end in Vancouver with events planned to celebrate the accomplishments in their journey. 
This will be a global call to action, his site says, to inspire further progress through securing international partnerships and recognize outstanding achievements in the areas of finding a cure for spinal cord injuries and creating accessible communities. 
Keep your eyes open for Rick Hansen and his band of relay participants. Great things have come from his hard work and I hope for more great things in the future.

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7 comments:

jojo said...

what an incredible journey. I don't remember it the first time around but will be watching to see it this time...

Blondie's Journal said...

Rick Hansen is absoltely amazing and inspiring. Thanks for sharing his story with us!

XO,
Jane

Blondie's Journal said...

Absolutely!

XO,
Jane

Ali said...

I remember meeting him years ago. An outstanding human being.

Kammy said...

Wow, what a neat guy ! I would love to see him !
My Dad has been in a chair since his 40's and until recently - worked a full time job and transported himself. Nothing like seeing a person get themselves in and out of a car and into a wheelchair to see how fortunate we are.
Are you staying warm up there ??
Hugs and have a terrific day !
Kammy

Peg said...

Our daughter once served Rick Hansen on an airplane - said he was one of the nicest guys she'd ever met - wonderful how he's taken his own personal tragedy and turned it to good for others!

Joanne said...

Lori you should post that video with Rick Hansen and Rick Mercer bungee jumping. That was one of the best and showcases Rick's humour.
I think of him every time I drive up Moray -- there is a sign commemorating that part of the journey - the steepest next to the Great Wall of China.

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