Rick Hansen to visit Revelstoke in 2012

Rick Hansen wheels past an ice waterfall near the Lakehead in Ontario, on December 23, 1986, during his original Man in Motion World Tour. Photo courtesy of the Rick Hansen Foundation

Twenty-five years after Rick Hansen travelled across the country as part of his Man In Motion World Tour, his message of hope and inspiration returns to Revelstoke in April 2012 with the Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay.

Revelstoke will be one of 600 communities across the country that will welcome the Relay, a nine-month journey that will move east to west, beginning in Cape Spear, Nfld., on  August 24, 2011, and concluding in Vancouver on May 22, 2012.

“We look forward to participating in this important event, and welcoming the Relay through our community,” Mayor David Raven said in a statement released by the Rick Hansen Foundation on Tuesday.  “The Relay will be an occasion to bring people together, and celebrate the people who make a difference in the lives of others.”

For his part, Hansen said he was gratified to be returning to Revelstoke.

“I received so much encouragement and support when I wheeled through Revelstoke 25 years ago, it’s truly inspiring to encourage a new generation to pursue their dreams,” he said in the statement.

In 1985, Hansen pushed his wheelchair out of Vancouver and set out on a journey that would make history. His legendary Man In Motion World Tour spanned more than 40,000 km through 34 countries; took over two years to complete; and raised more than $26 million for spinal cord injury. His incredible achievement became a testament to the strength of the human spirit and the power of teamwork. His courage and determination inspired us to believe in the possibility of a fully accessible and inclusive society, and a cure for spinal cord injury.

The Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay will re-trace the Canadian segment of the original Man in Motion journey, visiting every province and territory and traveling 12,000 kilometres. The Relay will be made up of 7,000 participants, Canadians who have made a difference, no matter how large or small, in the lives of others and who motivate us all to help make our communities and the world a better place. While Rick will be present at a number of cities and stops along the 25th Anniversary Relay, it will be these 7,000 participants who will complete this cross-Canada tour and represent his spirit and drive.

More information on how to become a participant in the Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay will be announced this April.

The Rick Hansen Foundation is a registered charitable organization that provides leadership to create more accessible and inclusive communities for people with a spinal cord injury, and supports the search for a cure. The Foundation achieves its goals by connecting the people and resources that make innovation possible. Please visit www.rickhansen.com for more information.