Farewell Newfoundland - The Relay Rocked the Rock
The Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay began on August 24 in Cape Spear, NL and the people of Newfoundland and Labrador welcomed Rick Hansen and the Relay team with the same Atlantic-Canada charm and pride as 25 years ago. The morning of the launch was foggy as the Relay team prepped for the big day, but moments before the first Medal-Bearer Jacob Manning received the first transfer of the Rick Hansen Medal, designed by the Royal Canadian Mint, the sun began to shine. The warm temperatures had finally arrived on the Rock after a rainy Atlantic summer, (perhaps it was the presence of Relay Endurance Athlete Sonny who brought warm rays) but the great weather stayed with the Relay almost the all 14 days in Newfoundland.
Throughout Rick's anniversary journey through Newfoundland, many people shared their inspirational stories and memories with Rick, and welcomed him into their communities with honour. Rick visited a dozen communities in the St. John's area making stops at various recreation centres, schools, rehabilitation centres, city and municipal halls, and an Armed Forces Base, before an emotional departure in Clarenville, NL. The Relay team continued travelling north-west toward Newfoundland's west coast communities to celebrate Rick's vision of Many in Motion, honouring 7,000 difference makers across Canada.
Throughout Newfoundland the medal was carried by 450 medal-bearers. The medal also travelled in extraordinary modes of transportation including by air in a small engine plane and by zip-line; over water in a row boat and kayak; and on land by an amphibious Argo vehicle and a dry-land sit ski. The medal even went sight-seeing, spending an afternoon on board an iceberg tour boat, and on accessible hiking trail.
For many on the Relay team, it was their first visit to the Rock, and the "come from afar" were welcomed by friendly people, moose meat, Scrunchions and Schreech. We'll miss the Rock but off to Cape Breton, NS the Relay will go!
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