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Rick Hansen: Man in Motion

Born in Port Alberni, British Columbia. Rick Hansen grew up in Fort St John, Abbotsford and Williams Lake, British Columbia. A natural athlete, he was very passionate about fishing and sports. He was paralyzed from the waist down at the age of 15 while being in the back of a truck with his friend, when the pickup truck went off the steep, winding road on a return trip home from a week-long fishing trip and crashed.  After seven months of rehabilitation in Vancouver, Rick had to learn how to deal with his new life, which was full of challenges. With determination, a sense of humour and a lot of heart, he found a way to keep doing the things he loved. He kept fishing, discovered wheelchair basketball and other sports, set new goals for his life ... and began to make new dreams.

Rick was recuited by coach and mentor, Stan Stronge, to join the Vancouver Cablecars wheelchair basketball team. It is during this time when he met Terry Fox and invited him to play wheelchair basketball. THey shared a close friendship, a passionfor sports and a commitment to making a difference,

Rick enrolled at the University of British Columbia and became the first student with a disability to graduate from the Physical Education. He went on to win national championships in wheelchair basketball and volleyball, as well as becoming a Paralympic champion.

Inspired by Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope and courage, Hansen decided to undertake a similar journey for spinal cord injury research, with one difference. Hansen’s ambition would not only take him across Canada but he planned to circle the world in his wheelchair. 

Rick Hansen’s Man in Motion Tour began on March 21st, 1985 from Oakridge Mall in Vancouver. Although public attention was low in the beginning, he progressed on a 26 month trek, over 40,000 kilometers through 34 countries on four continents before crossing Canada.
A final private highlight for Rick before leaving Ontario is an emotional stop near Thunder Bay, the place where his friend Terry Fox had ended his Marathon of Hope.

By the end of his journey on May 22nd, 1987 he had raised over 26 million dollars for spinal cord research and quality of life initiatives. As the CEO of the Rick Hansen Foundation, he has raised over more than 200 million dollars to date.

Man in Motion