Rick Hansen, Man in Motion

Rick Hansen, Canada’s Man in Motion and ambassador par excellence, was just your average proud parent on Saturday, taking in the sights and the spectacle of the Surrey’s BC Summer Games. His youngest daughter, Rebecca, is on the Fraser River Delta (Zone 4) beach volleyball team. Hansen sees this event, and everything that goes on around our young athletes, as a tremendously positive provincial event for youth.

“The BC Summer Games are fantastic,” said Hansen. “It’s such a tremendous event for the province, especially for youth who have sports hopes, dreams, and goals, and to see values to come out. They’re also thinking about what their future could be.”

Reflecting on his years at the Games, Hansen described them as great opportunities to advance his Olympic and Paralympic athletic career. In addition, he said the Games taught him important things about giving back and the value of supporting sports.

“I remember when I was a kid I had a chance to come at the BC Summer Games,” he said. “It was one of the inspirational moments in my athletic career and it launched me towards Paralympic and Olympic competition. Through that I realized that I could give back and support sport as well. That’s one of the core values and attributes of the BC Summer Games.”

These Games would be virtually impossible without the tremendous work and support from devoted volunteers. Hansen sees the BC Summer Games volunteers as one of the core elements of the whole event. He expressed his gratitude to them for all their hard work, saying that it presents great opportunities to comeback and close the circle from athlete to supporter.

Rick Hansen and Esmir Milavic

“What is great about it is that kids from throughout the entire province get to know each other,” he said. “They either play in high school or club teams, and possibly have a chance to play together on various teams in other BC environments.”

He also feels that meeting new friends and coaches during the Games is one of the best values for young British Columbian athletes. Hansen also praised young coaches for their volunteering and for investing their time to strengthen future generations by giving back to B.C. communities. That, said Hansen, is one of the BC Games’ core values.

“I’m just here as a father,” he said. “Anytime somebody comes over to say ‘Hi,’ I’m honoured. I love to chat with people.”