In a private ceremony on May 14, 2010, Mr. Rick Hansen of the Hansen Foundation presented the three 2010 Winter Olympic torches to executive members of Aspac Developments Ltd.
The torches presented to Aspac are artifacts of Mr. Hansen’s Olympic and Paralympic journey, including the torch that was carried into the Opening Ceremony at BC Place Stadium.
Mr. Hansen is an advocate and activist of people with spinal cord injuries. Famed for his legendary “Man in Motion” world tour in 1985, he became one of Canada’s national heroes. As a paraplegic athlete, he has won honours such as the “Outstanding Athlete of the Year” from the Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association (1980), and was inducted into Canada’s Sport Hall of Fame in 2006. For his work and dedication to enrich the lives of those with spinal cord injuries, he was awarded with the Companion of the Order of Canada (1988), as well as the Order of British Columbia (1990).
During the ceremony, Mr. Hansen thanked Aspac for bringing this “amazing vision to the City of Richmond,” in reference to Aspac’s newest development project – River Green, and expressed a hope that River Green would “continue the flame in the City of Richmond.” Mr. Hansen concluded by pronouncing Aspac the “custodians of the Olympic and Paralympic dreams” as he presented torches to Mr. John Ryan and Mr. Gary Wong. “It is an honour and a privilege to display [the] torches at the River Green Story Centre,” Aspac Developments said, “we hope the whole community will be able to feel that Olympic spirit again, and be inspired by all this wonderful legacy.”
The torches will be on display for a period of six months at the River Green Story Centre, which is also the presentation centre for what will be Richmond’s premier, waterfront master-planned community, to be developed over the next 15 years.
The River Green Story Centre will be open to the public beginning June 19.