On March 21st 1985, international medal-winning athlete and Olympian Rick Hansen, and his team, left Oak Ridge Mall 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.
A nation inspired, and the journey to improve the lives of people with spinal cord injury and other related disabilities.
On March 21st 1985, international medal-winning athlete and Olympian Rick Hansen, and his team, left Oak Ridge Mall 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.
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 Paralympics 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 Center, the world's most integrated center 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.
More information at rickhansen.com/countdown
25th Anniversary celebrations start March 21, 2010 - Closing Ceremonies day for the 2010 Paralympic Games!
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