A quarter century in motion

Relay shows how Rick Hansen has made a difference.

Rick Hansen celebrates during his 25th anniversary Man in Motion relay tour stop in Pitt Meadows on Thursday by doing a dance on stage with some medal bearers. See story on page 3

Rick Hansen celebrates during his 25th anniversary Man in Motion relay tour stop in Pitt Meadows on Thursday by doing a dance on stage with some medal bearers. See story on page 3



Taking a test spin in a wheel chair isn’t as easy as it looks. Many people taking the wheel chair challenge, set up by the 1st Yennadon Scouts and Venturers, Wednesday couldn’t make it through the gentle slalom course that ran downhill around the bandstand in Memorial Peace Park.

And the return stretch meant wheeling up a slight grade, using only muscle power.

“It gives them a little bit of a taste of what it is like to go uphill,” said scout leader Lorelei Ducharme.

“If you watch, most of them use their feet.”

The wheel chair challenge was a warmup event to the 25th anniversary of Rick Hansen’s Man in Motion World Tour.

Hansen wasn’t at the event, but the relay team that crossed Canada in the 25th Anniversary Relay did roll in, led by Maple Ridge wheelchair athlete Nathan Bragg.

“It’s just an honour to be part of something like the Rick Hansen relay,” Bragg told the crowd.

Hansen’s wheelchair trip around the world and his constant efforts since at including those with disabilities, have made a difference, says James Telep, part of the relay team.

The Maple Ridge resident has been in a wheelchair for 14 years, following a snowboarding accident on Hemlock Mountain.

“I saw him 25 years ago, before I broke my back,” he said following the ceremonies. The accident “slowed me down, but didn’t stop me,” he adds.

So has life improved for those with disabilities since?

“Of course. People are doing a lot,” Telep says.

He and Kevin Priebe, also in a chair, run Adaptive Seating Products, which makes specialty seats for wheel chair athletes in many sports.

Telep trains with the Pitt Meadows Paddling Club, is a national para-athlete and fastest in his class of kayaking.

Except for the odd building today, most are wheelchair accessible, he says. Telep points out Maple Ridge’s leisure centre, where he trains a few times a week, is fully accessible.

One challenge, though, is keeping his vehicle filled up with gasoline. There’s only one full-service gas station in town.

The relay’s arrival Tuesday was exactly 25 years to the day, when Hansen first rolled through Maple Ridge.

“It seems just like yesterday that I stood on the highway and watched Rick roll by,” said Maple Ridge Mayor Ernie Daykin.

Now his grandchildren are learning about Hansen, he added.

“What he did was open our eyes,” said Maple Ridge school board chair Mike Murray.

“The diversity in our public school system is our greatest strength I believe.”

Hansen appeared at the relay at noon Thursday in Pitt Meadows’ Spirit Square.

“We’re all in motion and we’re all in a journey,” he told the enthusiastic crowd.

Hansen said that following his car crash, when he was 15, that left him unable to walk, it was his family and teachers that rallied around him.

“How far we’ve come since I was here in Pitt Meadows 25 years ago,” Hansen said.

“I feel like I’m one of the luckiest guys on the planet,” adding his best work is still to come.

“Let’s keep going.”

Hansen said later he wants to use social media to develop a Global Accessibility Map, that will serve as a ratings tool that will help gauge mobility and accessibility in cities around the world.

But it’s obvious by the wheel chair ramps, curb cut outs and buildings that accessibility is improving.

“It doesn’t mean we’re totally there, but it means we’ve made great progress.”

Hansen said he wants legislation to change building codes across Canada, “to ensure that every new building that is built is truly inclusive, so we don’t have to waste time and money retrofitting – because we weren’t thinking in that modern view.

“It’s going to unleash so much potential,” and will save millions in the future.

Employment also has to improve for those with disabilities, he added.

Pitt Meadows resident Fran Deptford was one of the hundreds watching the ceremonies. She now uses a cane to get around after being hit by a car in 2000 at Harris and McMyn roads.

She showed up because the relay “has meaning for me.”

She also was there for her step dad and step brother, Herb Carey and Brian Carey. Herb met Hansen 25 years ago.  She brought along a picture of her step dad from that event.

Brian, who recently died, spent most of his life as a quadriplegic after a motorcycle accident in 1973 on his 17th birthday in Savona, north of Kamloops.

A car turned in front of him and his motorcycle. He flipped over the car, skidded along the ground, and broke his neck on the hubcap of a parked car.

“It just devastated my step dad.”

 

Medal bearers for the 25th anniversary relay:

Maple Ridge

• Karen Lai

• Jen Mcintosh

• Matt Hastie

• Gordon Catherwood

• Neil Hughes

• Jim Bindon

• Melissa Main

• Tom English

• Jennifer McKenzie

• Debra Merchant

• Alexander Turnbull

• Lindsay Norcross

• Francesca Plaster

• Laura Schaufele

• Mike Wong

• Chris Caverly

• Stacy Gabriel

• Levi Sigouin

• Kelly Garay

• Justin Law

• Kevin Priebe

• James Telep

• Nathan Bragg

• Miranda Tymoschuk

• Dan Coghill

• Jamille Austrial

• Jim Longridge

• Veronica Fox

• Nico Dhillon

• Barry Nelson

• Dave Teixeira

• Danielle Lysak

• Harris McKay

• Sangeetha Kasturi

• Susan Shea

• Kevin Vallely

• Tina Gallacher

• Christine Hilliard

• Annie Bottiglieri

• Cheryl Johnson

• Christa Hauzer

• Dena Francis

• Tyler Dawes

• Rudy North

• Greg Blasco

• Jan Emerton

• Jonathon Wilson

• Maureen Pullen

• Christina Klassen

 

Pitt Meadows

•Juhli Jobi

• David Rountree

• Kailea Ridsdale

• Victor Sorensen

• Natasha Tweten

• Cameron Campbell

• Deb Walters

• Aodhan Carlisle

• Gordon Kirkland

• Steve Robinson

• Doug Spencer

• Ethan Gugliotta

• Aaron Bricault

• Rachel Johns

• Jaxson Creasey

• John Mills

• Greg Marchand

• Janelle Hammer

• John Woodward

• Myra Zwiep

• Belinda Burke

• Krysia Hamner

• Ted Down

• Gary Brich

• Frank Eason

• Cheryl Walker

• Dave Anderson

• Marie-Pierre Lavoie

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A small memorial to Rich Goulet was started at Pitt Meadows Secondary after his recent death. (Neil Corbett/The News)
LETTER: Rename Pitt Meadows school gym in coach’s honour

Rich Goulet was considered one of the provinces best basketball coaches and died recently

Doug Nolin, a Maple Ridge senior, snapped this picture of his pet pigeons taking flight down by the old Albion ferry dock. “What a beautiful land we live in,” he said. (Special to The News)
SHARE: Chirp, chirp: Ridge senior captures pigeons taking flight

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon.

Pamela Franklin captured this picture of a raccoon in Maple Ridge, “chilling” in her backyard, on her storage bin. (Special to The News)
SHARE: Lounging in the spring sun

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon.

Debbie Noseworthy snapped a sunset picture the first day of daylight savings as seen from the dikes off 216th Street in Maple Ridge. (Special to The News)
SHARE: Sky on fire over Maple Ridge dikes

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon.

Darlene Martin captured this ‘breathtaking’ view of a sunset and the Fraser River as taken from Osprey Village. (Special to The News)
SHARE: View from Osprey Village breathtaking

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon.

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

People walk past the Olympic rings in Whistler, B.C., Friday, May 15, 2020. Whistler which is a travel destination for tourists around the world is seeing the effects of travel bans due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Adults living, working in Whistler, B.C., eligible for COVID-19 vaccine on Monday

The move comes as the province deals with a rush of COVID-19 and variant cases in the community

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: RCMP investigating after child, 6, dies at motel in Duncan, B.C.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the circumstances around the child’s death

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Most Read