Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Day 151, Winnipeg to Headingley, Manitoba

Day 151 began at the Forks public market in Winnipeg. It was a special treat to see Rick Hansen pass the medal to our endurance athlete Joey at the start of the relay day.

It was a also special because this is Joey's last day with us on the relay. This is his second stint with us, (he was our endurance athlete in Quebec), and hopefully it will not be the last time we see him before the end of the relay on May 22nd. He always has a smile on his face, and was an ambassador to the 25th anniversary relay.

The escort team getting ready to roll.

Josh, I don't think stretching is going to be enough to keep warm today.

When you spend so much time on the relay, these people become like your second family. Joey's stint this time started in Thunder Bay on Jan. 7th when we got back from christmas break.

Also today, Rick participated in the first medal bearer briefing of the day, and even got on the shuttle bus.
Posing with members of the Winnipeg Police department, who got us through some very busy streets the last couple of days.

The first group of the day poses with Rick. Included in the group was the former premier of Manitoba, Gary Doer (at the back second from the right) He is now the ambassador of Canada to the United States. Here is his story:

been connected with Rick Hansen for a number of years, spanning back to when he was the Premier of Manitoba. Most recently, the

Ambassador hosted Rick Hansen at the Embassy of Canada in Washington DC, allowing Rick to present Difference Maker Awards to some very

deserving Americans (such as Judith Heumann).

In October, 2009, Gary Doer assumed his responsibilities as Canada’s 23rd representative to the United States of America.

Prior to taking up his current position in Washington, Ambassador Doer served as Premier of Manitoba for ten years. During that time, he

worked extensively with U.S. Governors to enhance Canada-U.S. cooperation on trade, agriculture, water protection, climate change and

renewable energy.

Ambassador Doer won three consecutive elections as Premier of Manitoba with successive increased majorities. In 2005, he was named by

Business Week magazine as one of the top 20 international leaders on climate change. His government introduced balanced budgets during

each of his ten years in office while reducing many taxes, including a plan to eliminate small business tax. As Premier, he led strategic

investments in health care, education, and training and infrastructure.

Ambassador Doer hails from Winnipeg. He is married with two daughters.

Rick was having so much fun he stayed on and wheeled with the first four medal bearers of the day.

From the Forks, the relay headed towards downtown.

Posing with MB #4, Jake
I saw this building downtown, I remember the "Can-D-Man" from my childhood days!

Heading down Portage avenue past our hotel on the left.

This mural on the side of a building depicts hockey in Winnipeg, including the olden day Jets of the World Hockey Association and their star, Bobby Hull.

Fast foward to Rick's next scheduled visit. He toured the facilities at the Winnipeg Health Sciences Centre, and spoke to the patients, staff , medal bearers and the medai.

Sanatorium, there's a word I don't think I have heard before. It refers to a medical facility for long-term illness 
Off we go in the ice and snow west on Portage Ave. towards Headingley.

Another McDonald's sponsor stop, and lucky me, a chance to hang with Ronald himself!

Ronald poses with medal bearer Ace, in front of a display that travels around to all the McDonalds. It includes a replica 25th anniversary Rick Hansen medal and a pair of gloves Rick used during his original man in motion tour.

A unique lunch stop today, we pulled up in front of Polo Park, a mall in Winnipeg, and everyone went to the food court to dine.
We didn't have much time, so "fast food" was the order of the day.

Even our police escorts parked and came in and joined us.

One of the many murals of Manitoba buildings, this one on Portage is the Manitoba Hydro building

I love this shot, it gives you a real taste of what the weather was like today. Here Dustin receives the medal while the CTV news camera catches the exchange. Here is his story:

Dustin's Story is he had a car accident because he was texting and driving Dec 10 2010 and he is now a quadrapelegic and has just gotten out

of hospital Aug 5th and is already starting work in the high schools all around Manitoba to teach kids the dangers of texting and driving. Dustin

is the first major accident victom since the law went into effect and has done several tv and radio interviews to try and help people since this

has happened. Dustin never has a down day and he has been an inspiration to a lot of us. Outside Dustins room in the rehab hospital waas a

picture of Rick Hanson and I told Dustin his story and also how when I was a teenager my best friends Dad was the driver of the Semi with the

safe on the back with the donations so I got to walk along side and collect donations and how happy and proud i was to help out that day!

Dustin and I would be very honored now to help out in anyway we could and I know Dustin would be very proud to be a Medal Bearer if he was

given the opportunity. Thank you.

Another highlight on Day 151, a visit to CFB Winnipeg Air Division Region Headquarters
After a ceremony inside the building, Rick is on hand as Joey passes the medal to David, one of the members of the armed forces carrying the medal today.

This military helicopter flew overhead as the medal bearers carried the medal through the grounds of the base.

Cudos to our escorts Don, Marilyn and Kenn, and to Joey, who braved the elements today.

A group of runners from the base also ran with the medal bearers.

The view from inside the warm command car.

Our second McDonalds stop of the day.
Rick was back again to accompany the medal bearers

Pretty cool watching the man in motion in action

Heading towards our next sponsor stop, Scotiabank

One big family, the relay and the Scotiabank crew.

Great job by the Winnipeg police today, they gave us two lanes of traffic, and cleared every intersection so we could just cruised on through.
Our afternoon time adjustment break (ATAB, to keep us time ) was at the MTS Iceplex, a four sheet arena, that is also the home of the practice facility for the Winnipeg Jets

Once we left Portage Ave towards Headingley, our convoy grew as we were joined by the local running club, two ATV's and a firetruck (which led the way) from the Headingley fire department.

At one point, a dog-sled followed alongside of the convoy. Those dogs can really go!

The smaller communites really know how to put on a party! There was great turn-out from the town, and they tied in the 25th anniversary relay with a celebration of their own difference makers.

 Great to see Connie again, who works directly with Rick Hansen, and lucky Andrew (one of the relay pilots)

My week as the command car driver is over, next week back on Shuttle 3 with Jake, who I haven't worked with in a couple of months.

Rick is so well received, it is so hard for him to get away, there are so many people who want to see him. He did have to get going he had a private gala waiting for him back in Winnipeg.

Thanks to the volunteers in Headingley for their welcoming reception, and the chili was delicious!

No comments:

Post a Comment