Hansen celebration arrives in Nelson

Grade 4 students create medals for the Many in Motion tour coming to Nelson on Thursday. - Samuel Dobrin photo
Grade 4 students create medals for the Many in Motion tour coming to Nelson on Thursday.
— image credit: Samuel Dobrin photo

After weeks of preparation, the Rick Hansen’s Many in Motion tour will finally reach the Nelson area tomorrow.

The cross-Canada relay marking the 25th anniversary of Rick Hansen’s Man in Motion world tour for spinal cord research that has inspired so many over the years will arrive at the Balfour ferry terminal at 1 p.m. and make its way into Nelson by 4 p.m.

“It’s great it’s finally come together,” said Kim Palfenier, executive director of the Nelson Regional Sports Council.

“We’ve got a great team of people that have pulled this together and so we’re really looking forward to it.”

Thursday’s festivities begin during the noon hour when elementary schools in the district will make a presentation at the Nelson and District Community Complex.

“There’s going to be elementary schools coming down for a lunchtime event where we’re going to be presenting some special awards to local difference makers,” said Palfenier.

Several schools have been preparing their own Many in Motion medal crafts for the event which will be displayed on a stage in the ticket booth area of the community complex.

The relay through Nelson begins at 3:55 p.m. on the North Shore and will make its way through town, coming along Baker Street and eventually down to the community complex.

Those interested in viewing the relay make its way through town will be able to set up along the route to watch the medal bearers.

A detailed schedule of the events over the next three days can be found on page 26 of today’s Star.

Upon arriving at the NDCC, the relay will pass on to the final and honoured medal bearer, Ed Natyshak, who will carry the medal to the stage where a final presentation will be made.

Natyshak, along with the other dignitaries present, will then address the community gathered there.

Following the final presentation, a plethora of activities will be available at the complex including a free public skate session along with free cake and live music until about 7:30 p.m.

Accompanying the tour on its way into town will be Joey Desjardins, an endurance athlete who will represent Rick Hansen in his absence.

Desjardins was involved in a serious motorcycle accident in June 2009 and suffered a T4-T6 spinal injury. With the support of those closest to him he underwent rehab and learned how to re-enter the “real world” as a paraplegic.

Today Desjardins enjoys a variety of adaptive sports and will be handcycling alongside the medal bearers as the tour travels from Sicamous to Castlegar.

On Sunday following the tour’s arrival in Nelson, it will depart from the NDCC parking lot at 9:30 a.m. and continue to Castlegar.

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