Rick Hansen Celebrates 25 Years With Relay

In 1986, Rick Hansen went around the world in a wheelchair – through 34 countries – to raise money for spinal cord injuries.

Hansen’s “Man In Motion Tour” was a major achievement, covering more than 40,000 kilometres. Many people see Hansen as a Canadian hero.

It has been 25 years since Hansen’s historic tour and in that time his foundation has raised more than $200 million to help people with spinal cord injuries.

On the 25th anniversary, he wants to do something special to raise even more money.

On August 24, the Rick Hansen Relay will begin. It will cover more than 12,000 kilometres, starting in Cape Spear, NL and ending in Vancouver, BC on May 22, 2012.

The relay will travel through more than 600 cities and towns.

Seven thousand “difference makers” will be selected to run, walk or wheel about 250 metres each. They will pass the Rick Hansen Medal from one person to the next until the entire 12,000 kms has been covered.

Anyone 13 years or older, living in Canada can put their name in to become a “difference maker.” Hansen will be choosing people who have made a difference in their community through determination, courage, leadership or teamwork.

Related Links:
Enter here for a chance to walk, run or wheel in the relay.
Read more about Rick Hansen on his website.
A terrific book, Boy in Motion, by Ainslie Manson recounts Rick’s story.


Writing/Discussion Prompt
Rick Hansen is considered a hero by many people all over the world. In your opinion, what makes someone a hero? Are there different types of heroes? Is there one thing that all heroes have in common?

Reading Prompt
Readers can tell if they have understood texts in many ways. Being able to retell what you have read is one. Retell today’s article and include the most important facts, but be careful–being able to tell which are the most important facts can be challenging.

Demonstrate understanding of a variety of texts by identifying important ideas and some supporting details (OME, Reading: 1.4).

Demonstrate understanding of a variety of texts by summarizing important ideas and citing supporting details (OME, Reading: 1.4).

Demonstrate understanding of increasingly complex texts by  summarizing important ideas and citing a variety of details that support the main idea (OME, Reading: 1.4).

Grammar Feature: Quotation Marks – unusual usage ( ” )
Quotation marks in a text are most often used to tell readers that the words between the marks are the exact words spoken by the speaker. However, quotation marks can be used in other ways too. For example, quotation marks are used in today’s article to show a nickname. The participants in the Rick Hansen Relay were described as “difference makers,” (with quotation marks on either side) to show that this is a nickname for the entire group of exceptional participants.

Often, nicknames are written in quotation marks between the first and last name of the person (e.g. Elvis “The King” Presley). Using this method, write the names and nicknames of five friends. Make sure to include quotation marks!