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When you hear the song 'St. Elmo's Fire (Man in Motion)', it can only mean one thing - Rick Hansen.
Born and raised in British Columbia, Rick loved fishing and sports. But at 15, an accident changed his life forever. Rick was thrown from the back of pickup truck, paralyzed from the waist down, and told he'd never walk again.
After seven months in hospital and rehab, he returned home and started life over. By 1976, he'd started studying at UBC and during the summer, he met an amazing young man named Terry Fox. Within three years, Rick started competing internationally in wheelchair sports.
Over the years, he won 19 wheelchair marathons, plus medals at the 1980 and '84 Paralympics. That same year, he brought wheelchair athletics to the Olympics as an exhibition sport. But Rick's biggest challenge came on March 21, 1985 - with his 'Man in Motion' tour.
Inspired by Terry Fox, Rick set out to wheel around the world, to raise awareness and money for spinal cord research. For the next two years, he traveled an average of eighty-five kilometres a day, through thirty-four countries and four continents.
By the time, he returned to Vancouver, he'd covered more than forty thousand kilometres, and raised twenty-six million dollars.
Since then, Rick's been made a Companion of the Order of Canada, is a member of Canada's Sports Hall of Fame and was a torchbearer and one of the four torch lighters at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics opening ceremonies.
His foundation has raised hundreds of millions for accessibility and spinal cord research, and has created medical networks, annual nationwide events, and school programs.
To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Man in the Motion Tour, Rick is retracing his path around the globe. He's finding ways to inspire and engage a new generation, because even though he's accomplished a lot, he's adamant his most important work has yet to come.