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ABOUT RICK a snapshot of his journey

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1957
August 26

1957

Rick Hansen is born in Port Alberni, BC. Growing up in Fort St. John, Abbotsford and Williams Lake, BC, Rick is an active kid who loves fishing and sports.
1973
June 27

1973

Rick and friend Don Alder are thrown from the back of a pickup truck on the way home from a fishing trip. Rick sustains a spinal cord injury and is paralyzed from the waist down.
1974

1974 - 1975

Rick returns home from rehabilitation. With the encouragement of his volleyball coach, he stays involved in sports and wins the gold medal at the Pacific Northwest Games for the Disabled in table tennis.
1976

1976

Rick enrolls at the University of British Columbia and later becomes the first person with a physical disability to graduate with a degree in Physical Education.
1977

1977

Rick meets Terry Fox and invites him to play wheelchair basketball. Rick and Terry become quick friends, sharing a passion for sports and a commitment to making a difference.
1979

1979 - 1984

Rick wins 19 international wheelchair marathons, the world title 4 times, 9 gold medals at the 1982 Pan American Wheelchair Games, and represents Canada at the 1984 Olympics. Rick is named Canada’s Disabled Athlete of the Year in 1979, 1980, 1982.
1985
March 21

1985

Rick and his team leave Vancouver to embark on the Man In Motion World Tour, a journey around the globe to prove the potential of people with disabilities and raise awareness for accessibility.
1986
February

1986

Rick and the team reach Melbourne, Australia, marking the halfway point of the tour at 12,450.775 miles.
1987-a
May 22

1987

Rick completes the MIMWT, which raised $26 million for SCI research, rehabilitation and sport.
1987-b
June 29

1987

Rick became a Companion of the Order of Canada, an honour that recognizes national pre-eminence or international service or achievement.
1987-c
October 10

1987

Rick met physiotherapist Amanda Reid when he injured his shoulder training for the Olympics. They fell in love and she joined the team on the Man In Motion World Tour. In 1987 they were married and now have three daughters, Emma, Alana, and Rebecca.
1987-d

1987

National Access Awareness Week was created in partnership with federal and provincial governments to promote accessibility in Canada. More than 1,000 communities participated in the initiative from 1987 – 1995.
1988

1988

The Man In Motion World Tour Society (later the Rick Hansen Foundation) is created to raise money to improve the lives of people with disabilities.
1995

1995

Rick works with Dr. John Steeves from UBC to create CORD (later ICORD, the International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries) – a small group of researchers and clinicians working together to make basic research more relevant to people with SCI.
1996

1996

Established the Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society
2000-a

2000

Rick and his team create the Rick Hansen Awards program to help schools motivate and recognize outstanding students who demonstrate social responsibility, goal accomplishment, overcoming obstacles, and a commitment to making a difference in the lives of others.
2000-b

2000

First created during Rick’s Man In Motion World Tour, the Rick Hansen School Program went national in 2000. Today, 2,500 schools across Canada use the program to raise awareness about accessibility and inclusion, and inspire youth to make a difference in their community.
2003

2003

Rick Hansen Wheels in Motion is created. The partnership with Scotiabank raised money locally to meet the needs of those with disabilities.
2006

2006

Induction into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame
2007

2007

Induction into the BC Sports Hall of Fame
2008

2008

Years in the making, the Rick Hansen Foundation leads the creation of the Rick Hansen Institute and the Blusson Spinal Cord Centre, a Canada-wide collaboration of people with SCI, researchers, and service providers dedicated to generating life-enhancing solutions for those with SCI.
2010-a

2010

As one of four final torchbearers, Rick carries the Olympic Flame into BC Place at the Opening Ceremony for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. He speaks at the Opening Ceremony of the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games.
2010-b

2010

Rick and his team kick off the 25th Anniversary of the MIMWT – a two-year celebration to raise awareness and celebrate the tremendous progress that has been made.
2011
August 24

2011

Retracing the Canadian segment of the MIMWT, the Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay recognized 7,000 difference makers who are helping Rick inspire a new generation to help improve the lives of people with disabilities.
2012-a
May 22

2012

Marks the end of the 25th Anniversary of the MIMWT.
2012-b

2012

Rick Hansen was appointed Honorary Colonel of The Joint Personnel Support Unit (JPSU). As an Honorary Colonel, Rick’s role is to help foster morale within his unit, help build relationships and ensure that the customs and traditions of the Canadian Forces are maintained.
2016

2016

As CEO of the Rick Hansen Foundation, Rick continues to lead a team of passionate difference makers working to improve the lives of people with disabilities.
2016 and beyond: Rick's journey continues...

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