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Guy Who Broke His Back In Snowboarding Accident Becomes Extreme Wheelchair Skater

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 21 Sep 2020 14:43
Man Who Broke His Back In Snowboarding Accident Becomes Extreme Wheelchair SkaterMan Who Broke His Back In Snowboarding Accident Becomes Extreme Wheelchair SkaterJam Press

A man who was left wheelchair-bound after a snowboard accident didn’t let it stop his love of skating.

Tony Thogmartin, 25, broke his back in a serious snowboarding accident in 2017. Despite receiving emergency surgery following the horrific ordeal, Tony was last paralysed from the waist down.

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Prior to his accident, Tony described skating as his ‘favourite thing to do’, so was determined not to give up the sport following his injury.

Now, over two years on from when he took up wheelchair skating, Tony is a sponsored athlete in the sport and trains three to four times a week.

See him in action here:

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Speaking about his snowboard accident three years ago, Tony said:

I was snowboarding with some friends. I went off a jump awkwardly and came down on my back and instantly lost feeling below the waist. I knew something wasn’t right and I was in a lot of pain. I was a novice in snowboarding at the time of my accident and was just getting into the sport.

He then spent 40 days in hospital, 30 of which consisted of therapy to help the now 25-year-old adjust to life in a wheelchair.

Tony took up wheelchair skating just a year on from his life-changing accident after seeing other people doing it. He said, ‘I saw a few people doing it with a wheelchair and it just pushed me to be the best I could be at it.’

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Tony uses a WCMX (wheelchair motocross) chair and has had it specially modified and reinforced to cope with the ‘abuse’ he said he puts it through. The chair was made by Colours in Corona, California, and boasts suspension and special casters that fit skateboard wheels.

He continued:

I train at the skatepark three-four times a week, but it’s more than just skating. The other days I’m doing some type of body conditioning such as weight training or cardio.

When I’m at a skatepark, everyone stops and stares in amazement of what they are watching. It makes me really nervous but I’ve accepted it and they are right to stare, it’s pretty crazy.

You don’t skate and not get hurt, it’s just part of it. In my chair, I have broken my wrist, my finger, and also blew apart my fingertip and had to get it stitched back together.

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Since taking up the unique sport, Tony has taken part in a few compeititons. He’s so far won silver in the North American Championship and 2nd in the USA National Championship of Skateboarding, and says he’s nowhere near finished yet.

Tony added, ‘I love my life and wouldn’t change a thing. I have taken this tragedy and turned it into a positive and have had some great opportunities along the way.’

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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: Life, California, Now