Sunday, January 22, 2012

Days 148, 149 and 150 Ste. Anne to Winnipeg, Manitoba

Day 148. Day 2 of 10 days in Winnipeg. Important details of a long stay: Your room key envelope (has important stuff like your room number on it, when you changes hotels all the time, you can forget what room your in), it also includes the internet code, your parking pass, and most importantly, your restaurant breakfast vouchers! not included but should be are: where's the gym, and where's the laundry

Looking out of the hotel room window wondering how people in Winnipeg deal with this weather

Wind chill? how bout wind chill freeze your buns off!


The streets were very icy today, but it was the only day for everyone to take the relay vehicles to the local Honda dealership for detailing.

These guys were awesome, you drove the vehicle in the shop, they took it in and washed and cleaned the inside and outside, and put new winter floor mats in all of them.
Natalie, Dawn, Jane, and Marilyn in the waiting lounge, most of us were out of there in less than 45 minutes.
Thanks to the gang at Crown Honda in Winnipeg, the vehicles have looked this good since the start of the relay 148 days ago.

It just looks frigid, good night to stay in.

Day 149 

At least it's sunny
After breakfast, it was time to grab a coffee, and head out to do a reconnaissance of Days 150 and 151.

Mike (head of security), Otto (relay command), Hank (driving the pace motorhome for the next 2 days), and myself (driving the command vehicle) headed out to check out the routes.

We have day books that were done up in advance. These contain all the information we need to get through a relay day.

Crossing the Red River on the Provencher bridge

We have a big stop on Day 150 at the Provincial Legislature
Now that the Winnipeg Jets are back, this town has become hockey crazy.

The route takes us past our hotel

And the MTF centre, the home of the Winnipeg Jets.

The Day 151 route will take us past the stadium of the Winnipeg Bluebombers football team.

Just happened to bump into Don, who was out running errands today.

Day 151 will be really special when we get to  CFB Winnipeg air force base
There were a lot of planes on display outside showing the history of the Canadian Air Force.

Day 151 end of day will be in Headingley, Manitoba, but our hunger on day 149 takes us to the Headingly Grill. If you ever make it out there, I recommend the bison burger!

After our recon mission, I had to go to the Fairmont hotel to pick up Rick Hansen and take him to and from the Winnipeg Jets game, where he will be honored in a special ceremony.

Day 150, back to the relay action. Only minus 28 this morning.
 Heading east out of Winnipeg, our start of day is back in Ste. Anne.

A warm welcome from Ste. Anne school.

Hank getting the pace motorhome into place.

The students at Ste. Annes school  listening to the Rick Hansen and the 25th anniversary relay story.

More school hallway inspiration

The escorts and our endurance athlete Joey were warriors today taking on the cold.

The first five medal bearers of the day walked together, with support from fellow students, friends, and family.

A beautiful day for me inside driving the warm command vehicle.
CBC was on hand today reporting on the relay and the medal bearers.

After the final medal bearer in Ste. Anne finished their segment, it was time for one last group shot with Joey.

Between Ste Anne and Winnipeg is the Longitudinal Center of Canada.

Our first  stop in Winnipeg. The Royal Canadian Mint. Here we are going through the parade of flags representing the countries that the Mint produces currency for.

Like Tunisia, who has been a customer since 1995
And look who's back! Rick Hansen is with us for a couple of days, great to have him again, we haven't seen him on the relay since Toronto, over two months ago. Today Rick is here in honor of the Royal Canadian Mint, who created the 25th anniversary relay medal.

The Winnipeg facility, which mints over 1 billion circulation coins each year.

When ever Rick is around, the media is sure to follow.

After the Mint, we headed to a school stop at Glenlawn Collegiate school in Winnipeg. Here our photographer Bryn is ready and waiting at the back of the pace motorhome.

Yah, that's us!

Our endurance athlete Joey talks to the students at Glenlawn
The students at Ecole Varennes (school) come out to cheer on the relay.

The relay took us through the neighborhood of Saint Vital

Another school stop, this time at Nelson McIntyre Collegiate in Winnipeg

A few minutes later it was a brief stop at Ecole Henri Bergeron (school)

Billy talks to the students  while Joey, and medal bearer Sean look on. Sean did a 1.5 kilometre segment today. Here is his story:

When he was 24 years old (approx. 11 years ago), he fell asleep driving. When he fell asleep, he drifted across the lane and ended up hitting a

culvert in a ditch. In hospital, he was in a sedated coma for 14 days. Originally he was suppose to recover from his injuries in 14 months, but

ended up being released in 3 months. Injuries he sustained were: Cardiac Confusion of the Heart, Punctured both lungs, lacerated liver, spleen

needed to be removed, reconstructive surgery on his left cheek bone, crushed ankle, fractured ribs, broken color bone; The list goes on. This

eventually left him as a T10 Para.

After leaving the hospital he lived with his mom. His dad sustained a heart attack and passed away 2 years after his accident. He currently now

lives in his own house.

Approximately in 2006, he was introduced to water-skiing at the "Day at the Beach" event held by Canadian Healthcare Products. He quickly

grew at the sport and made the national team a year later. He has set Canadian Records for Slalom and trick skiing in the MP3 category.

Was introduced to Sledge Hockey in 2007 by his friend. In 2009, he was part of a team of 8 guys who went to Calgary who won Silver in the

first tournament Manitoba had participated in. In 2010, Manitoba went out to Edmonton for the Western Canadian Sledge Hockey

Championships where they won Gold in the Senior B category. Sean was noticed by Hockey Canada that year, and was invited to the Selection

Camp for the National Team. There he was named to the National Development Team, the first Manitoban and Winnipegger to make this


With Hockey Canada, he has gone to Buffalo, NY, Windsor ON, Moncton NB, and Barrie ON for camps and game series against the American

Development Team.

It is a full circle come around for Sean, as prior to his injury he played with the East St. Paul Aces. He now serves as an inspiration to others

who are in the same boat he was. He visits the Rehab Hospital in Winnipeg to go and talk with new-injuries and show them that life doesn't end

here, it just begins. He also serves as a great role model to the kids of the Sledge Hockey Program in Manitoba as they now see a player from

Manitoba can make the national program.

He has shown that if you commit to something, you can achieve it. And it is this attitude and determination that I would be excited to nominate


A friend of Sean's joined in on his segment.

Even another school stop, Louis Riel College. Riel was the founder of Manitoba

Back towards the Provencher bridge,
Oh boy, another sponsor stop at McDonalds, and a new Ronald!

Chris has rejoined us a our videographer during Rick's stay in Winnipeg

Heading towards downtown Winnipeg

Fort Rouge School was next on our school stops, how many is that today?, I have lost count.

It is so worth it to bring the relay message out to our future.
I like the sign, "run to inspire"

Another first, this medal bearer had her own relay race official throwing down the checkered flag at the end of her segment.

When they pass the medal to each other, the medal bearers are encouraged to do have a little celebration. This time it's the    do-se-do

Driving the command car affords me the chance to take some real cools shots, I love this one of the medal exchange.

The students of St. Mary's academy get ready to cheer on the medal bearer.
Jennifer was the last difference maker going into our lunch stop at St.Mary's academy, an all girl school in Winnipeg

Our presentation is in the school auditrorium. While that was going on, we were treated to sandwiches and refreshments in the staff lounge. Thanks to St. Mary's for feeding us!

St. Mary's

After lunch, there was another ceremony honoring Rick Hansen, this time at the Manitoba Legislature

The golden boy, on top of the building, emblematic of Manitoba's eternal youth and progress
People crowding around Rick Hansen

I am not sure who the people are with the 25th anniversary toques are, but I do know Rick is inside there somewhere, a good way to keep warm.

Time for another group photo op.

Let's just hit all the educational facilities in Winnipeg today. The University of Winnipeg was the next visit for the relay today.
Getting closer to our End of Day celebration in Winnipeg

Here we stand down with the convoy while a ceremony in celebration of the 25th anniversary goes on inside City Hall

I am not sure of the name of the medal bearer, but I am sure of the incredible support they received along their segment of the relay.

I have only seen this twice before in 150 days of the relay. Rick Hansen has joined the relay for the final segments leading up to our end of day celebration.

The future home of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. One of the key people spearheading this project is Gail Asper, who was medal bearer number 41 today.

All eyes are on Rick as he wheels with the medal bearers towards the end of day.
Our end of day celebration was at the market at The Forks. Originally we were going to have it outside, but the sudden cold snap changed that. The Forks is where the Red and the Assinboine rivers meet.

The public market at the Forks, lots of funky shops to suit everyone's tastes

A lot of people showed up to see the man in motion, and to celebrate the medal bearers.

Rick is so well spoken, he motivates and inspires everytime.

Day 150 comes to a close.

But not for Rick, so many people wait to speak with him, or to get an autograph, he is always patient and gracious.

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