Rick Hansen was born on August 26, 1957, in Port Alberni and grew up in Williams Lake, British Columbia. As an athletic, carefree teenager, he loved sports, and particularly enjoyed fishing. While returning home from an afternoon's fishing, with a friend, in 1973, the truck in which they were riding went out of control and crashed. That day, doctors told Rick that he was a paraplegic, and that he would never walk again. He was 15 years old.
Rick saw his situation as a challenge to overcome. He persevered through rehabilitation, and returned home to graduate from high school. He refocused his athletic abilities to master wheelchair sports, and was the first student with a physical disability to graduate in Physical Education from the University of British Columbia. He became an elite wheelchair athlete, winning nineteen international wheelchair marathons, including three world championships, and competing for Canada in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.
In 1985, motivated by his success, and a desire to make a difference in how people with a disability were perceived, he embarked on the record-setting Man in Motion World Tour. Along the way, he inspired others to pursue their own dreams, raised the world's awareness of the potential of people with disabilities, and became a testament to the remarkable potential that lies in the human spirit. He became a Canadian hero.
Today, Rick is the founder of the Man in Motion Foundation and President of the Rick Hansen Institute. To date, the Man in Motion Foundation and Rick Hansen Institute has generated more than $118 million for a wide spectrum of spinal cord injury activities, including research, awareness, rehabilitation and wheelchair sport.
As an inspiring speaker, Rick is in demand by many organizations to share his remarkable story and to inspire others to make a difference. He spends time in schools, committed to being a positive role model to children, and has co-authored two books: Rick Hansen - Man in Motion and Going the Distance: Seven Steps to Personal Change. Among his many community commitments, Rick serves on a number of Boards and, still passionate about fishing and the environment, is currently chair of the Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society and the Pacific Salmon Endowment Fund Society.
Performance Fee Range: $10,000 - $25,000 Travel from Vancouver, British Columbia