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Richard Marvin “Rick” Hansen CC OBC (born August 26, 1957) is a Canadian athlete (Paralympic Games), activist, and philanthropist for people with disabilities. Following a pickup truck accident at the age of 15, Hansen sustained a spinal cord injury and became a paraplegic. Hansen is most famous for his Man in Motion World Tour. He was inducted into the Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2006. He was one of the final torchbearers in the 1988 Winter Olympics and the 2010 Winter Olympics. He was profiled and spoke during the 2010 Winter Paralympics opening ceremony.
Born in Port Alberni, British Columbia, Rick Hansen grew up in Williams Lake, British Columbia. As a young athlete, he had won all-star awards in five sports. He was paralyzed at the age of 15 from being in the back of a truck with his friend, when suddenly the pick up truck swerved and hit a tree. He left the bed of the truck from the impact and sustained a spinal cord injury. He worked on rehabilitation, completed high school, then became the first student with a physical disability to graduate in physical education from the University of British Columbia. Hansen won national championships on wheelchair volleyball and wheelchair basketball teams. He went on to become a world class champion wheelchair marathoner and Paralympic athlete. He competed in wheelchair racing at both the 1980 and 1984 Summer Paralympics, winning a total of three gold, two silver, and one bronze medal. Hansen won 19 international wheelchair marathons, including three world championships. He also coached high school basketball and volleyball. Rick had a very close relationship with his family, especially with his father and grandfather, with whom he enjoyed frequent fishing trips.