Man in Motion greeted by thunderous applause
The Man in Motion came home to thunderous applause Sunday.
Despite a steady downpour, Richmond's Rick Hansen was greeted enthusiastically by more than 200 supporters on the final leg of his hometown 25th anniversary relay at the Richmond Olympic Oval legacy plaza.
"This has been an unbelievable opportunity for me, to have traveled the world and to recognize the incredible progress that's been made in making a cure for spinal chord injuries becoming a possibility for the future, and inclusion for people with disabilities everywhere," said Hansen. "And I'm so thrilled to be celebrating with you here in Richmond, my hometown."
Hansen also took the opportunity to extend a special thank you to those wearing yellow jerseys—"the many in motion who represent millions of Canadians who step up to make a difference." That group in Richmond included Richmond wheelchair and community activist Vince Miele, former VANOC chair John Furlong, Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie and Canadian and world men's figure skating champion Patrick Chan.
Hansen said of Miele, who was the day's final medal bearer (carrying it from 5640 Hollybridge Way to the oval): "He's a good friend and mentor of mine, someone who was there (during rehabilitation at GF Strong) who wheeled in and said to me 'You can move forward, I'm here for you.' He supported me when I needed that and he wasn't there just for me, but thousands around the province. He's worked tirelessly to make things more accessible and inclusive for others."
The Rick Hansen Relay concludes today at the Terry Fox Plaza at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver. The public event begins at 11:45 a.m., with the relay arriving at 12:05 p.m. capping a nine-month journey 25 years to the day when the original Man In Motion tour ended.