HANSEN, Rick (1961- )




Author Tags: Essentials 2010, Sports

"The finish line is only the beginning." -- Rick Hansen

QUICK REFERENCE ENTRY:

Touted as the largest first printing for any B.C. book, Rick
Hansen’s Man in Motion (1987), co-written with sportswriter Jim Taylor, reportedly had an initial print run of 65,000 copies. It was featured on the cover of the inaugural issue of B.C. BookWorld in 1987.

Born in Port Alberni in 1957, Rick Hansen lost the use of both his legs in a Williams Lake traffic accident when he was 15 and was paralyzed thereafter due to spinal cord injuries. He became a wheelchair athlete, winning 19 marathons, three world championships as well as competing in an exhibition event at the 1984 Olympics. Having commenced his Man in Motion World Tour in 1985, pushing his wheelchair more than 40,000 kilometres through 34 countries to raise $26 million for spinal cord research, rehabilitation and sport, Hansen rolled back into Vancouver as B.C.’s most popular citizen on May 22, 1987, buoyed by a theme song provided by Victoria composer and arranger David Foster. The story behind the story of the book was that Jim Taylor’s daughter Teresa had become a quadriplegic in 1976 at age 14, as the result of a skiing accident. Hansen and Taylor verbally agreed to do the book together on the night before Hansen’s world tour began.

Prior to re-entering Canada, after his tour of 33 countries, Hansen had raised only $174,000. Newfoundlanders made the difference, having missed out on the cross-country fundraising marathons of Terry Fox and Steve Fonyo. The enthusiasm for Hansen in Newfoundland kindled a “St. Elmo’s fire” of appreciation that swept across Canada in 1987. Rick Hansen: Man in Motion became one of the most successful sports titles ever published in B.C. Hansen soon married his physiotherapist Amanda Reid, daughter of Expo ’86 organizer Patrick Reid. The marriage did not go the distance but Hansen’s self-promotional zeal was unabated. He co-authored a motivational book with psychologist Joan Laub.


FULL ENTRY:

Rick Hansen became British Columbia's most popular citizen in 1987 after he commenced his Man in Motion World tour in 1985, pushing his wheelchair more than 40,000 kilometres through 34 countries to raise $24 million for medical research. Born in Port Alberni on August 26, 1957, Hansen lost the use of both his legs in a Williams Lake traffic accident when he was 15, paralyzed thereafter with spinal cord injuries. He became a wheelchair athlete, winning 19 marathons, three world championships and competing in an exhibition event at the 1984 Olympics. With a theme song provided by Victoria composer and arranger David Foster, Hansen continued to raise money for spinal cord injury research after his Man in Motion tour ended back in Vancouver on May 22, 1987, having averaged 45,000 wheel strokes daily. Hansen's book Man in Motion (Douglas & McIntyre, 1987) reportedly had an initial print run of 65,000 copies. It was co-written with sportswriter Jim Taylor whose own daughter Teresa had become a quadriplegic in 1976 at age 14, as the result of a skiing accident. Hansen and Taylor verbally agreed to do the book together on the night before Hansen's world tour began. Prior to re-entering Canada, Hansen's tour of 33 countries had raised only $174,000 in 33 countries. Newfoundlanders made the difference, having missed out on the cross-country fundraising marathons of Terry Fox and Steve Fonyo. The enthusiasm for Hansen in Newfoundland kindled the 'St. Elmo's fire' of appreciation that swept across Canada in 1987. After the tour, Hansen married his physiotherapist Amanada Reid, daughter of Patrick Reid. Man in Motion was one of the most successful sports titles ever published in B.C. Hansen's promotional zeal continued when he co-authored a self-help motivational book with Colorado psychologist pyschologist Joan Laub called Going the Distance: 7 Steps to Personal Change (D&M $24.95). Unfortunately his marriage didn't go the distance.

[For other B.C. books pertaining to sports, see abcbookworld entries for Ackles, Bob; Adachi, Pat; Anstey, Robert; Arnason, Kathleen; Banks, Kerry; Bascomb, Neal; Beardsley, Doug; Bjarnason, Paul; Bowering, George; Bowlsby, Craig; Brill, Debbie; Brodsgaard, Shel; Caron, Marnie; Carroll, M.R.; Carver, John Arthur; Childerhose, R.J.; Clerk, Blair M.; Cowley, Glen; Cruise, David; Dawe, Alan; Diersch, Sandra; Edge, Marc; Farris, Jason; Fox, Terry; Fraser, Fil; Galloway, Steven; Gaston, Bill; Getty, Ian; Gregson, Ian; Greig, Murray; Harrison, Pat; Harrison, Patricia; Johnston, Mike; Johnston, Tom; Kew, Trevor; Khan, Karim; Laumann, Silken; Mackin, Bob; McCredie, Andrew; McKinley, Michael; Meraw, Ann Mundigel; Miller, Saul; Mooney, Maggie; Morrison, Janet Love; Nash, Steve; Nicol, Eric; Norton, Wayne; Petersen, Carl W.; Reid, D.C.; Ross, Jesse; Ross, Julian; Rossiter, Sean; Sauerwein, Stan; Savelieff, David S.; Scott, Chic; Shaw, Chris A.; Sheepshanks, John; Smith, Pat; Square, David; Stewart, Barbara; Stott, Jon; Sturrock, Doug; Triano, Jay; Twigg, Alan; Urefe, Frank A.; Waiters, Tony; Walter, Ryan; White, Silas; Whitfield, Simon; Wilberg, Karl; Williams, Tiger; Yzerman, Steve.] @2010.

[BCBW 2010]

Man in Motion
Article


from BCBW Spring 1987
At age 16, before he became B.C.'s most popular citizen, Rick Hansen made one of his first public appearances as a paraplegic on Granville Island. He entered The Keg restaurant on his new crutches and fell onto the floor.

A sympathetic waiter later enquired if Rick would prefer to leave unobserved through a kitchen door. Hansen agreed. Leaving The Keg, he tripped and fell again, this time tumbling headfirst into a garbage can.

Rick Hansen wiped garbage from his face. "So this is how it's going to be," said the former high school athlete-of-the-year.

It's the kind of story that news cameras can never tell. And it's the kind of story that makes Man in Motion (Douglas & McIntyre $19.95) the leading candidate for bestselling B.C. book of the year.

On September 19 at Oakridge, where his Man in Motion tour began, Hansen launched the new book with a record first printing of 65,000 from B.C.'s largest publisher. After four continents, 34 countries, averaging 45,000 wheel strokes daily, burning 271 calories hourly, raising over $20 million, finding love and glory, the man who was once Williams Lake's only wheelchair owner has become an author.

Premier B.C. sportswriter Jim Taylor was chosen by Hansen to help co-write the book. Just as Rick Hansen lost the use of his legs in a traffic accident at age 15 in 1973, Taylor's daughter Teresa became a quadriplegic as the result of a skiing accident in 1976 at age 14.

"Even before Man in Motion began," says Taylor, "I had wanted to write a book about wheelchair athletes. I was going to call it 'Yes, I Can.'" Taylor and Hansen verbally agreed to terms in Hansen's apartment only the night before Hansen's Man in Motion tour commenced.

"I told him I wasn't going to write Saint Rick," recalls Taylor. In return, Taylor had to agree to never allow any other person to listen to Hansen's tape recorded diary of his grueling global marathon.

Both men have kept their promises. The result is an inspirational book that doubles as a love story. Taylor estimates 60% of the sales will be due to curiosity about the love affair between Hansen and his physiotherapist Amanda Reid. "No one who wasn't there has any idea what was really going on during that trip," says Taylor, who visited Hansen on five occasions during the tour.

The turning point, says Taylor, was Newfoundland. Prior to re-entering Canada, the Man in Motion tour had only raised $174,000 in 33 countries. Because Newfoundland had largely missed out on the visits of Terry Fox and Steve Fonyo, that province responded especially well to Hansen.

Hansen now likens the $20 million support he received from within Canada to a cheerleading wave in a sports stadium. Vancouver stood up first. Almost two years later, Newfoundland finally stood up second. The wave followed from there and it has continued to circulate.

"The finish line is only the beginning," says Hansen. Man in Motion, the book, marks the beginning of a second consciousness-raising wave that will continue to improve the lives of handicapped persons.

As for his personal future, Hansen has turned down options to enter politics. "Politics is no good for you," Taylor told his hard-headed collaborator, "They wouldn't let you start as Prime Minister."