Rick Hansen was in the back of a truck when it suddenly swerved and hit a tree.
The collision caused the then-15-year-old Hansen to sustain a spinal cord injury, which paralyzed him from the waist down.
Hansen, who grew up Williams Lake, worked on rehabilitation and completed high school and became the first student with a physical disability to graduate in physical education from the University of British Columbia.
His achievements didn’t end there. He won national championships in wheelchair volleyball and wheelchair basketball and became a world-class champion wheelchair marathoner and Paralympic athlete, to name a few of his many accomplishments.
But it wasn’t until 1985 when Hansen began his Man in Motion Tour, an achievement that has earned him recognition across the globe that he travelled around in his wheelchair.
Hansen spent 26 months traversing more than 40,000 kilometres through 34 countries before returning to Vancouver where he started his journey that was inspired by British Columbian athlete and fellow international hero Terry Fox.
Hansen’s tour raised $26 million for spinal cord research and quality of life initiatives, which continue to be his focus today.
The Rick Hansen Foundation, of which Hansen is the president and CEO, has raised more than $200 million for spinal cord injury related programs.
On Sunday, the Man in Motion will be back in Williams Lake as part of the 25th Anniversary Rick Hansen Relay, and will be joined by Bruce MacLeod of Horsefly, the final medal bearer.
MacLeod will be on the main stage to share his own story.
Come out and attend the End of Day Celebration to welcome Hansen and MacLeod and others in attendance. It takes place at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex, with entertainment to begin at 4 p.m. and official proceedings to begin at 5:30 p.m.
See you there!