A quarter century after Rick Hansen’s Man in Motion World Tour, Rick Hansen will hold a cross-Canada relay to recreate the Canadian portion of the original tour.
Hansen’s Man in Motion World Tour from 1985 to 1987 took the wheelchair athlete through 34 countries and covered more than 40,000 kilometres. The tour raised $26 million for spinal cord research, rehabilitation and sport.
The 25th Anniversary Relay will cover 12,000 kilometres across Canada and will pass through all provinces and territories.
The relay is expected to pass through Summerland on May 2 and 3, 2012.
A contest is in place to find and honour people who have made a difference in the lives of others.
An online contest at RickHansenRelay.com has opened and allows Canadians to enter to win a spot for themselves or nominate someone else as a medal bearer in the relay.
“This is the start of a movement for 7,000 Canadians to help inspire the nation and live by the credo that anything is possible,” Hansen said.
Joanne Malar of the municipality’s parks and recreation department said the medal bearers should be people who are contributing to the community.
“It’s an honour to be a medal bearer,” she said. “Most people, whether they realize it or not, are making a difference.”
In addition to the medal bearers, Malar said the community will also highlight others who are making a difference in the community.
“There are so many people who have fabulous stories of survival, success and inspiration,” she said.
The relay began on Aug. 24 in Cape Spear, Newfoundland and Labrador. The route will retrace the original Man in Motion World Tour, concluding in Vancouver on May 22, 2012.
A celebration will be held in Summerland on Tuesday, May 2 at 6 p.m. at the Dale Meadows Sports Complex.
The relay will also stop at schools for ceremonies and celebrations the following day.
The tour will pass through more than 600 communities and will reach more than 70 per cent of the Canadian population.
The 7,000 participants will collectively cover an average of 40 to 80 kilometres a day as they pass a singular medal to the next participant.
The contest is open to all Canadians 13 years of age and older.
The entry deadline for Summerland is Dec. 28, 2011.
Those who have stories to share and those interested in nominating someone as a medal bearer should e-mail Malar at firstname.lastname@example.org.