Richard Marvin “Rick” Hansen (born August 26, 1957) is a Canadian athlete of the Paralympic Games, activist, and philanthropist for people with disabilities…..who following a pickup truck accident at the age of 15….when Hansen sustained a spinal cord injury and became a paraplegic….became famous for his Man in Motion World Tour. He was inducted into the Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2006….plus he was one of the final torchbearers in the 1988 Winter Olympics….and the 2010 Winter Olympics….and he was profiled and spoke during the 2010 Winter Paralympics opening ceremony.
Rick Hansen embarked on his Man in Motion World Tour on March 21, 1985, from Oakridge Mall in Vancouver….as seen in this video herewith. Although public attention was low at the beginning of the tour….he soon attracted international media attention as he progressed on a 26-month trek,…where he logged more than 40,000 km through 34 countries on four continents before crossing the entirety of Canada…. and returning to Vancouver’s BC Place Stadium to cheering crowds of thousands on May 22, 1987….after raising $26 million for spinal cord research and quality of life initiatives.
Like fellow Canadian, Terry Fox, the one-legged distance runner who died of cancer during his journey across Canada (video tribute to Terry Fox is in our ImaSportsphile library)….Hansen was hailed as an international hero…. who is currently president and CEO of the Rick Hansen Foundation…. which has generated more than $200 million for spinal cord injury-related programs.