Rick Hansen-Man in Motion
Rise to Leadership
After seven months of rehabilitation in Vancouver, Rick returned home and learned to live a new lifestyle still incorporating his passions. He learned how to keep fishing and playing sports on a wheelchair with the encouragement of his family and friends. This is how Rick discovered a whole new world of sport. Rick changed his course of his future to match his situation. He set new goals for himself and began to dream new dreams.
Rick didn't let his injury make a dent in his passion for sports. It just amplified it even more. Following his injury, Rick realized how differently society treated people with disabilities – many people saw his injury before they saw him. Combining his passions, athletic ability and vision, Rick embarked on a journey that would make history. On March 21, 1985, he pushed his wheelchair out of Vancouver, BC and on to the open road which began the now world renowned Man in Motion World Tour. He was fueled by two big dreams – to make communities more accessible and inclusive to people with disabilities and to raise funds for spinal cord injury research.
That is how Rick Hansen rose to leadership, through his injury that lead to his motivation to raise awareness which then brought his fantasy to life and he began his World Tour.
Actions Rick Hansen did to show Leadership
He was named “Athlete of the Century” by BC Wheelchair Sports Association which proved his athletic abilities. He also won “Canada’s Disabled Athlete of the Year” in 1979 and 1982 which showed how he incorporated his dreams with his injury and how he didn't let his injury stop him from living his life to his fullest potential. In 1983, he also shared the Lou Marsh Award with Wayne Gretzky, as Canada’s Outstanding Athlete of the Year.
Rick has also been inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, the BC Sports Hall of Fame and the University of British Columbia Athletic Hall of Fame. He was put into these halls of fame because he proved himself by the way he changed peoples lives by spreading awareness about disabilities.
Furthermore, upon completion of the Man In Motion World Tour, Rick realized that his work had just begun. One of his most famous quotes is "The End is Just the Beginning", he believed that even though he inspired people through his world tour, work still needed to be done to raise awareness and help others struggling with their disabilities. He established the Rick Hansen Foundation and even today, it still remains committed to making communities more inclusive, and accelerating progress towards a cure for spinal cord injuries. Under Rick’s leadership, the Foundation has generated more than $245 million for a variety of programs and initiatives aimed at furthering Rick’s commitment to creating a truly inclusive world where healthy people can contribute in a significant way.
1) Courage is not the absence of fear - it's inspiring others to move beyond it
That's precisely what Rick learned to do: pretend, and through the act of appearing fearless, inspire others. Rick hurt, anyone who wheels across the world with a broken body in horrible conditions wold be scared, fearful, tired, stressed. Yet still, Rick held up a front, he knew he was a role model for others. So while Rick faked his courage, thousands of people who looked up to him during his Man in Motion World Tour got inspired. Inspired that if Rick could wheel around the world with a broken body and useless legs, then they could beat their own odds, beat their own injury. Just that thought would get individuals through surgeries and pain. Rick knew he was a model for others, and that gave him the courage to triumph over his own fear of disappointing his followers, fear of pain and fear of failing. Rick did not let people know about his fear, he couldn't, he faked it and made things a whole lot easier for other people who looked up to him, giving them the hope they needed to get through their own fear. It was because of him, people thought that if he could do it, then so could they. The Man in Motion World Tour was about hopes and dreams coming true, and through him, he gave others the motivation to hope and dream with the chance that theirs will come true too.
2) Appearances matter - and remember to smile
3) Nothing is Black or White
Hansen, Rick, and Jim Taylor. Rick Hansen: Man In Motion. 2nd ed. Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 1987. 228. Print.
"Why Wheel the World?" What Inspired Rick Hansen to Wheel around the World. Web. 27 Apr. 2015. <https://www.rickhansen.com/About-Us/About-Rick/Man-In-Motion-World-Tour/Why-Wheel-the-World>.
"Biography of Rick Hansen." Rickhansen.com. Web. 27 Apr. 2015. <https://www.rickhansen.com/Portals/2/Documents/RHBio_IntSec.pdf>.