SLIDESHOW: Man in Motion celebrates in White Rock

Rick Hansen joins the Semiahmoo Peninsula stage of the relay that commemorates his Man in Motion World Tour.

Rick Hansen celebrates in White Rock Saturday evening



Inspirational. Moving. A tangible sense of pride.

Words used to describe Saturday’s end-of-day celebrations in White Rock had a common theme.

The evening event at the White Rock Community Centre was held to welcome Canada’s Man in Motion, Rick Hansen, on Day 270 of his 25th anniversary relay.

Hundreds of people turned out for the occasion, cheering and parting like the sea as Hansen rolled up, flanked by runners in yellow jackets and White Rock’s own Jayme Hall, who completed the last leg of the day after being selected as the city’s final medal-bearer.

On the home stretch, Hansen joined her.

“They walked the length of the plaza straight down to the stage,” said Amy Baumann, special events co-ordinator for the City of White Rock. “It was just very touching.”

For Hall, 13, the magnitude of the moment hit as she approached the community centre.

“That really hit me, towards the end – not many people are going to be able to do this,” she told Peace Arch News. “It just meant a lot, the whole thing.”

Hall was among those who shared the stage with Hansen, telling – and showing – the crowd how she has bounced back from a massive stroke she suffered two years ago.

It was a story that wasn’t lost on Hansen.

“He said that my story was really inspiring,” she said.

Hansen’s cross-Canada relay began in Cape Spear, Nfld., on Aug. 24 and wrapped up in Vancouver on Tuesday – nine months and 12,000 kilometres later. It was organized to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Man in Motion World Tour, in which Hansen covered 40,000 kilometres through 34 countries in 26 months in his wheelchair, to raise awareness about spinal-cord injury.

This time, the journey was shorter, stayed in one country and Hansen didn’t do it alone. Hall was among 7,000 citizens – young and old – who ran, walked, wheeled or biked segments of the journey, each one passing the Rick Hansen Medal on to the next.

Saturday, Hansen lauded how far efforts have come in regards to spinal-cord research and inclusiveness of people with disabilities. Since his epic trek 25 years ago, the Rick Hansen Foundation has raised more than $250 million to accelerate progress towards a cure for spinal-cord injuries.

Describing the event as a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity, Baumann said it was also a welcome chance to personally thank Hansen for his May 14 visit to White Rock resident Richard Morrison, who is in Vancouver General Hospital’s spinal unit after breaking his neck in a hockey mishap April 21.

“He shook my hand, looked me right in the eye and said, ‘You know what, Rich is going to be OK’,” Baumann said.

White Rock’s event – which was one year in the making – also featured performances from Semiahmoo Secondary’s youth band, local solo singer Payton Rector, students from the Todd Brewer School of Music, “Mr. O Canada” Mark Donnelly and a short performance from the Sources Life Skills Resource Centre Group, Events Unlimited.

Just Posted

18 months conditional term for indecent caller

Incidents reported in Surrey, White Rock and Langley

Delta mosque holds silent prayer vigil for Christchurch victims

Event emphasized the importance of acceptance, solidarity in the wake of the attack on Muslim worshippers

White Rock Mexican restaurant told to remove flag from patio

‘I’ve never heard of anything like this in my life,’ Primo’s Mexican Grill general manager said

White Rock water plant operational by month’s end

Utilities manager’s talk to Peace Arch Rotary also covers global water issues

A Surrey Mountie’s tale of reconciling her family’s history with the LGBTQ+ ‘purge’

PART TWO: Cpl. Sturko is spokeswoman of Surrey RCMP after her great uncle was ‘purged’ from the RCMP

VIDEO: The ‘most cosmopolitan’ of butterflies could migrate to B.C.

The painted lady butterfly will likely arrive this summer from Southern California

Pedestrian killed, two injured in three vehicle crash in Coquitlam

Road closures in effect following collision

Is it a homicide? B.C. woman dies in hospital, seven months after being shot

Stepfather think Chilliwack case should now be a homicide, but IHIT has not confirmed anything

Sources say Trudeau rejected Wilson-Raybould’s conservative pick for high court

Wilson-Raybould said Monday “there was no conflict between the PM and myself”

First Nations public art piece stolen in Nanaimo

Spindle Whorl went missing over the weekend, according to Nanaimo RCMP

Father-son duo at B.C. Children’s Hospital helps new dads fight depression

The pair teamed up to introduce the only known research-based mindfulness workshop for new dads

B.C. NDP moves to provide tax credits, tax cut for LNG Canada

Provincial sales tax break of $596 million repayable after construction

B.C. river cleanup crew finds bag of discarded sex toys

Chilliwack volunteers stumble on unexpected find while removing 600 lbs of trash from riverway

Trudeau sells housing plan in visit to hot real estate market in B.C.

Trudeau said the budget contains measures to help first-time buyers

Most Read

l -->