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Two residents to take part in Woolwich stretch of Rick Hansen relay

I can see a new horizon underneath the blazing sky
I’ll be where the eagle’s flying higher and higher
Gonna be your man in motion, all I need is a pair of wheels
Take me where my future’s lyin’, St. Elmo’s Fire

One could not turn on a Canadian radio station back in 1986 without hearing the chorus of that famous song, a tribute to Rick Hansen and his Man In Motion world tour where he travelled the circumference of the earth in his wheelchair.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the tour, and to mark that milestone Hansen has organized an anniversary relay crossing over Canada.

The relay began this August in Cape Spear, Newfoundland and Labrador and will retrace the Canadian segment of the original tour, covering 12,000 kilometres to finish in Vancouver on May 22, 2012.

Hansen will be represented and celebrated by many in motion this time around, including 7,000 participants from across the country who have made their own difference in the lives of others.

Each participant will be a relay medal bearer who will run, walk, wheel or bike to complete their segment of the tour and will pass along the singular Rick Hansen medal, produced by the Royal Canadian Mint, as the relay makes its way across the country.

On Dec. 3, the relay will be arriving in Woolwich. Dianna Weltz and Corin Metzger have been given the honour of being medal-bearers. Weltz will take on the St. Jacobs stretch and Metzger will complete the Elmira segment.

Weltz has been a part of the community most of her life and has served on numerous boards such as the Elmira Figure Skating Club, Elmira Aquaducks and Memorial fountain committee.

Metzger, who is confined to a wheelchair, grew up in Elmira and has made a difference in the community by educating students, school staff and the community about the physical barriers that people with disabilities live with everyday.

“I have never done anything like this before,” said Metzger. “Representing my hometown and supporting the Rick Hansen Foundation and spinal cord research is something that is really important to me – this is an amazing opportunity.”

Metzger has taken part in the Rick Hansen Wheels in Motion event for the past seven years and helped to promote that event by holding a wheelchair basketball demonstration.

This summer Metzger was selected to be a part of the Canadian Women’s U25 team at the World Wheelchair Basketball Championships in St. Catharines. She is also a member of both the Ontario mixed and Canadian women’s sledge hockey teams.

The township will host an end-of-day celebration at the Woolwich Memorial Centre starting at 3:30 p.m. with a free public skate in the Jim McLeod Arena and a preview of the Woolwich sledge hockey team during their practice at 5 p.m.

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