25th anniversary relay will revive spirit of Man in Motion

Tour commemorating Rick Hansen will stop in Maple Ridge

staff reporter

It’s not the Man in Motion World Tour, but the next best thing: the Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay, and it stops in Maple Ridge in next year.

The district will be among 600 communities across Canada that will welcome the relay, a nine-month journey starting in Cape Spear, Nfld. this August and ending in Vancouver in May 2012.

Hansen won’t be part of the relay but will visit checkpoints along the way.

However, 7,000 other Canadians will be in the 12,000-kilometre relay and will be retracing every step of Hansen’s tour.

Maple Ridge Mayor Ernie Daykin remembers the day when Hansen rolled through in 1985.

“I remember closing my hardware business in Albion early the day Rick came through our community 25 years ago so my family could walk over to Lougheed Highway and cheer him on,” he said in a news release.

“As he made his way across Canada, after making his way around the world, our nation knew that we had a new hero and a new symbol of determination, drive and purpose. Rick Hansen proved, once again, that one person can change the world.”

Hansen launched the relay to commemorate the Man in Motion World Tour that took place in 1985 to raise money and awareness for spinal cord research.

The tour spanned more than 40,000 kilometres through 34 countries; took more than two years; and raised more than $26 million.

Daykin said Maple Ridge will work with the Rick Hansen Foundation to create the event.

“In the quarter century since his tour, Maple Ridge has had the opportunity to host the BC Disability Games twice and was selected as the Fraser Valley cultural celebration site for the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games,” Daykin said.

Principles of accessibility and inclusivity “have become part of the DNA of our community.

“Rick and his team can be proud that while the tour may have started out with a goal to raise funds and awareness around research and treatment for spinal cord injuries, the overall effect was that he opened all of our eyes to the possibilities that everyone of us has, despite the challenges we face.”

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