Twenty-five years ago, during the Man In Motion World Tour, Rick Hansen wheeled through the streets of China to raise awareness of spinal cord injury (SCI) and to create a more accessible world for everyone. Thousands of Chinese people came out to witness his journey and embrace his mission. They believed in his dream and warmly recognized and celebrated his great accomplishments.
The overwhelming support from China and its people marked a turning point in the Tour. Images of Rick’s inspirational journey through China captivated people from around the world and in Canada, who began to follow Rick’s journey with great interest. This set the stage for an unprecedented global engagement with the rest of the Tour.
After the Tour, Rick established the Rick Hansen Foundation (RHF) to continue his quest for an accessible and inclusive society and a cure for SCI. Twenty years later, extraordinary progress has been made in the areas of SCI research and accessibility.
In April 2011, Rick Hansen will be back in China to thank the country and its people for the pivotal role they played in raising awareness of the original Tour and to celebrate Chinese difference makers who have made a significant impact in finding a cure for SCI and in making the world more accessible.
The 25th Anniversary celebration of Rick’s original tour through China will provide an opportunity to engage Chinese citizens, society and government.
• For Chinese citizens, Rick’s story is proof that anything is possible and anyone can make a positive contribution to society. This confidence and optimism will give people the power to accomplish extraordinary things and to become difference makers.
• For Chinese society, Rick’s success will encourage respect for people who have differences and raise awareness of equality and inclusiveness, the essence of a harmonious society.
• For the Chinese government, Rick’s values of community, determination and integrity will galvanize society towards vibrant communities, a stronger country and a better world.
The 25th Anniversary is an opportunity to celebrate the extraordinary progress that has been made in the fields of SCI research and accessibility. The visit to China in April 2011 will be an opportunity to showcase the two countries working towards achieving this goal and to underline the importance of creating a world without barriers.
For the inspirational video, click here.