| Posted: Saturday, May 19, 2012 06:00 am
On Tuesday, in Vancouver's B.C. Place stadium, "Little Amanda" Magyar of St. Albert will hand the Rick Hansen Medal off to its namesake, bringing the Rick Hansen Relay to an end, exactly 25 years to the day Hansen finished his own Man in Motion World Tour.
With Hansen's input, Magyar has been chosen to run the final leg of the relay. Approximately 7,000 individuals have helped carry the medal across Canada since last August and Magyar was selected from all of them to help officially retire the medal.
"It's crazy," Magyar said. "I think I was chosen because of the role I was playing in the community. I try to get a different name out for our generation because we're sometimes seen as lazy and I want to show that we do have ambitions and we can change the world. It's so crazy."
Magyar ran her leg of the relay through St. Albert in March. She found out later that month she would run the final leg of the tour.
"I get this phone call and I was thinking maybe they just want to feature me on their website, nothing too big of a deal. But then they asked, 'How would you like to be the final medal bearer?' Oh my gosh!"
Magyar is well known in St. Albert for her commitment to community. She has organized environment clubs, been actively involved in Girl Guides of Canada for 12 years and organized in 2010 Birthday Bags for Kids in Need, that sought donations of cakes, balloons and other supplies from the community. While she had hoped to accrue enough supplies for 300 bags, that exploded to 1,000 bags for kids across Alberta.
In an email response, Hansen cited those reasons as why Magyar was selected.
"Like so many of the next generation of leaders, Amanda has proven that one person can make a difference," Hansen wrote. "Her infectious spirit and dedication to empowering young people to believe in themselves are just a few of the many reasons that she made an impression on me."
Magyar and Hansen met at a celebration at the Alberta legislature earlier this year. John Gibson, communications manager for the relay, said Magyar left a distinct impression on Hansen.
"She made such a great impression on Rick and the whole team when we started looking for people who can comprise the final runners," Gibson said.
Magyar leaves for Vancouver on Monday and on Tuesday will be on stage at B.C. Place — where Hansen ended his Man in Motion tour — with Hansen when the relay medal is officially retired and the long trek finally comes to an end.
"Amanda, together with her fellow youth, represents the future of our country. Together these young leaders will play an important role in setting the stage for a healthy and inclusive Canada where everyone can participate in, and contribute to, their communities," Hansen wrote.
Magyar wants the rest of her generation to know great things can happen when you start to invest in your community.
"If you have just one idea, don't shake it off and let someone else take that idea. Follow your dreams, inspirations and dream big, paint the big picture for everyone else to see."