They came from all over — walking, running and pedaling from the far flung reaches of Greater Trail to be there.
It was a gathering unlike anything the region has seen in 25 years. In fact, it was 25 years ago, the last time Rick Hansen’s Man in Motion Tour touched the Silver City.
And it touched it again. One man in motion that got many people in motion.
The Man in Motion World Tour inspired people all over the world, and the 25th anniversary tour in Trail Tuesday inspired many of those same people to participate again.
Throughout the day the historic tour captured the attention and fascination of residents in Greater Trail. People relived their dreams as the tour rolled in, smiling in remembrance of Hansen’s original tour and his dream: to make the world more accessible to people with disabilities.
“I’m kind of nervous, but I’m really excited,” said 12-year-old Kaedan Magner, who started the Trail leg of the relay.
Magner, was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease last year, but he hasn’t let the autoimmune disease impact his lifestyle in Castlegar.
He was honoured to carry the medal from McDonalds to the centotaph and be involved in the tour, just like his grandfather did with the original ‘Man in Motion tour’ in Princeton.
Hansen’s relay team embarked on their nine-month cross-Canada tour last summer, and the organization created partnerships with a number of local participants and visited over 600 communities.
By the time the tour reached the West Kootenay last week, thousands of people had touched the medal. Terry Martin, the local fire chief, carried the medal at the end of the day.
“I was very shocked when I found out that I would be the final medal bearer,” said Martin. “It’s quite an honour.”
The End of Day took place at sunny Gyro Park at 3:30 p.m. with a number of special guests and announcements. Mayor Dieter Bogs opened the ceremony with a speech about the excellent facilities for disabled people now available in Trail.
The Rick Hansen relay team will start day 247 at J.L. Crowe Secondary School in Trail at 12:20 a.m. on Thursday. The relay will have a community stop at the Warfield Municipal Building at 2 p.m., and the End of Day celebration will take place at the Miner’s Hall in Rossland at 3:30 p.m.
For more information, visit the Rick Hansen Foundation website.