Josh Dueck, a member of the Canadian Para-alpine ski team, this month became the first athlete to complete a backflip on a sit ski. “In the powder, I’m just floating around,” he said. “It feels like I’ve got no weight in the world. I’m just literally skipping off a cloud. The sensation I got when I was flipping, it really brought me back to a life without barriers.” Dueck, who was paralyzed after a skiing fall in 2004, started the backflip project about three years ago, practicing first by flipping into foam pits at an indoor training facility in Copper Mountain, Colo., then moved to the slopes, landing on an airbag. His next goal? “I think something that would be pretty cool to start looking towards is big mountain skiing,” he said.
This great story comes from Yahoo! Sports, where columnist Pat Forde relates his experience as the son of an early-onset Alzheimer’s patient to the situation in front of Tyler Summitt, son of legendary Tennessee basketball coach Pat Summitt. “It took 18 years for Alzheimer’s to finish cruelly killing my mom,” Forde writes. “She was remarkably healthy physically, so her body kept going long after her mind had been robbed of almost everything. … Alzheimer’s is undefeated. Nobody beats it.” He finds inspiration in Tyler, who knew something was wrong with his mother when “maybe she could only do four things instead of seven. She just wasn’t ‘Wonder Woman’ for a while. We just knew something was amiss.” Although just a college sophomore, Tyler has an impressive outlook: “I don’t focus on what I can’t control,” he said. “We can control the memories we still make together. I’d rather focus on the new memories and the life at hand than worry about losing the past.”
Doctors told Claire Lomas she would never walk again after a 2007 horse-riding accident. On April 22, Lomas will attempt to walk 26.2 miles with the help of a special robotic suit. “The technology comprises a number of motors and gears strapped to the user’s lower body, while sensors attached to the upper body help to control the motion,” Digital Trends reports. “A computer, together with a rechargeable battery power source, is located in a backpack. Once mastered, a user can even use [the suit] to climb stairs.” “It is physically hard work and incredibly frustrating at times to get the technique right, but when I make progress, it gives me a fantastic feeling,” Lomas said.
Charaf-Eddine Ait Taleb travels on low-cost airlines and public transportation to Formula One races, usually taking a tent to camp within easy distance of the paddock. “I go to the corner where you need to brake because I love to hear the gearbox, pum, pum, pum. When you are near it is fantastic, you feel it in your body,” he says. Ait Taleb, 29, lost his vision a decade ago, and the Frenchman has been embraced by the Formula One community, with teams and drivers helping him gain access to the paddock and garages and giving him the inside track, Reuters reports.