05/01/2012 06:50 EDT | Updated 07/01/2012 05:12 EDT

Rick Hansen speaks at B.C. legislature on 25th anniversary of Man in Motion tour

VICTORIA - Rick Hansen celebrated the 25th anniversary of his groundbreaking Man in Motion World Tour with a special unifying speech inside the normally divided chambers of the B.C. legislature.

Hansen joins Prime Minister Stephen Harper and B.C. aboriginal leaders Joe Gosnell and Kim Baird as one of the few guests given the opportunity to speak inside the legislature.

In March 1985, Hansen left Vancouver to wheel 40,000 kilometres through 34 countries over 26 months in an effort to raise money for spinal-cord research and prove the potential of people with disabilities.

Hansen says the current 25th anniversary relay of his journey is passing through 127 Canadian communities and concludes in downtown Vancouver on May 22.

Premier Christy Clark told the legislature that Hansen fundamentally changed peoples' views about the potential of those with disabilities.

Hansen, left paralyzed from the waist down after a boyhood vehicle accident, said his life-long mission is helping people realize their full potential, disabled or not.