Paralympic Snowboarder Brenna Huckaby poses for a portrait during the Team USA Media Summit ahead of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games on September 27, 2017 in Park City, Utah.
Every other Tuesday we scour the web for the latest going on in the world of U.S. Para track and field. Here’s what you missed!
Social Media Roundup
A pair of Paralympic medalists marked a pair of significant anniversaries in their lives on Instagram. While bittersweet, they were vital events in not only making them who they are today, but for their very survival.
On Nov. 18, two-time Paralympic gold medalist Brenna Huckaby posted to mark the 10-year anniversary of the amputation she had as a 14-year-old. A promising gymnast at the time, Huckaby developed osteosarcoma in her right leg, necessitating an amputation. But out of that difficult moment in her life she set upon a new journey, which she reflected on 10 years on.
“10 years ago today was the start of something beautiful,” Huckaby wrote. “A new beginning where I was forced to get creative in how I show up in this life. I had to say goodbye to the old Brenna and discover what this new Brenna would be.”
On Nov. 14, Paralympic medalist Amy Purdy gave thanks to the man who saved her life 20 years earlier: her dad. The bacterial meningitis infection that required the amputation of both her legs also required a new kidney, which she got in a transplant from her father one week after her 21st birthday in 2000. Purdy noted that at the time, the average transplant lasted just nine years.
In a series of posts, Purdy FaceTimed with her dad for their annual celebration shot of whiskey and posted a tribute slideshow of all her achievements since.
“It’s truly one of the biggest blessings of my life,” Purdy wrote. “So today and everyday we celebrate!! To another year of life & health!! Thank you for the gift of life dad!”
What does a Paralympic snowboarding medalist get his son for Christmas? Silly question, a snowboard of course. That was the case for Keith Gabel, who couldn’t wait for Dec. 25 to let his son get a peek at his present, a Burton snowboard.
Gabel also took a moment to honor that board’s namesake, Jake Burton, who passed away one year ago on Nov. 20.
“If I could only calculate thousands of miles I’ve ridden in Burton gear,” Gabel wrote. “Now my son will be ripping on a Burton setup very soon.”
Ever wonder how Para snowboarders get the perfect wax on their board? Waxing is more or less an art form, and everyone does it differently. Brittani Coury posted a time lapse video of the process, showing the application and ironing process she performs on her board.
In The News
Acknowledging the importance of college athletics as a pipeline to Olympic and Paralympic sports, the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee announced the formation of the USOPC College Sports Sustainability Think Tank to continue to foster those opportunities.
“Our country’s unique college system is critical not just to the health of our Olympic and Paralympic teams, but to the longstanding vitality of sports across our country,” said USOPC CEO Sarah Hirshland.
Athletes, executives, and others from the world of Olympic and Paralympic sports will serve on groups focused on three areas: partnerships, sport economics and regulations. The think tank will first convene in late November and will formally present its first recommendations to the USOPC Collegiate Advisory Council in the first quarter of 2021.