Rick Hansen Foundation

Rick Hansen Foundation

March 20, 2009 12:00 ET

24 Years Ago, the Rick Hansen Man in Motion World Tour Began

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - March 20, 2009) - On March 21st 1985, international medal-winning athlete and Olympian Rick Hansen and his team, left Oakridge Centre in Vancouver to raise awareness of the potential of people with disabilities, and to fulfill his dream of an accessible and inclusive world. Two years later, against all odds, he arrived home after pushing his wheelchair through 34 countries across four continents. Hansen inspired and galvanized a nation, changed perceptions about people with a disability and set the course for improving lives of people with spinal cord injury (SCI) and the search for a cure. He kept going on his unwavering belief that if you dare to dream, anything is possible.

Watch the video message from Rick inviting the country to join the celebrations. Watch Now! www.youtube.com/watch?v=rodn6jaDqiQ

In the two and a half decades since, Canada has become one of the most accessible and inclusive countries in the world and is ready to showcase its progressive approach during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Rick Hansen's World Tour became a catalyst for a new vision of improved quality of life and the search for a cure for spinal cord injury. His leadership has resulted in:

- Over $50M granted to researchers, students, fellows, rehabilitation organizations and wheelchair sport in Canada.

- Five endowed research chairs at the University of British Columbia/ICORD, and the establishment of the Rick Hansen SCI Registry database.

- The creation of the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions Network and a new, collaborative approach for addressing the priority needs of people living with SCI, in Canada.

- The Blusson Spinal Cord Injury Centre, the world's most integrated centre for developing and delivering improved care for the life-long requirements of people living with SCI, confirming Canada's leadership in cutting-edge research.

- National Access Awareness Week that brings attention and resolution to physical access for people with SCI and other disabilities.

- $4 million in direct funding to national wheelchair sport and wheelchair basketball associations.

To learn more or to sign up for 25th Anniversary updates, visit: www.rickhansen.com/countdown

25th Anniversary celebrations start March 21, 2010 - Closing Ceremonies day for the 2010 Paralympic Games!

Photos and video footage available on request

Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/RickHansenFdn

Visit us on YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/RickHansenFdn or www.youtube.com/watch?v=rodn6jaDqiQ

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