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ICYMI: Para Snowboarding News And Social Media Roundup For January 11

By Todd Kortemeier | Jan. 11, 2021, 3:56 p.m. (ET)

Mike Schultz competes in Para snowboarding at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympics. 

Every other week we scour the web for the latest goings on in the world of U.S. Para snowboarding. Here’s what you missed!

Social Media Roundup

Amy Purdy has been open about the health challenges she endured throughout 2020, speaking to TeamUSA.org about it last month. But unfortunately, 2021 is starting out with another challenge too. Purdy announced on Instagram an unexpected surgery, by her estimation at least the seventh since her leg injury. Though disheartened as she believed she was getting close to a full recovery, Purdy remains positive.

“I wasn’t ready for another surgery but I am always ready for another divine download! So let’s do this,” Purdy wrote.

Purdy also shared some exciting news, that she will soon be launching a podcast called “Bouncing Forward” that will talk about overcoming obstacles. Fans can go to the link in her Instagram bio to subscribe and find out more.


Brittani Coury lived a well-publicized double life in 2020 as both an elite Para snowboarder and a nurse helping to combat COVID-19. Coury announced on Dec. 26 that she had tested positive for the virus two weeks earlier. Coury experienced “extreme fatigue, cough, congestion, complete loss of taste & smell, and splitting headaches” so she was thrilled to finally be free and get back on a mountain so she can work her “other job.”

“I truly love watching the sunrise on the mountain! It’s my place to reset, clear my mind, and haul some booty lol — I wanna go fast!”


On Nov. 20, Keith Gabel posted about his son getting an early Christmas present — a snowboard of course. Well on Jan. 4, Gabel posted the little one in action, getting the hang of snowboarding at just 18 months old.

“Just a guess, but I think he likes it,” Gabel wrote. “At 18 months he’s starting to get the hang of this whole sliding on snow thing.”


Like many Americans, the members of Team USA weren’t necessarily upset to see 2020 go, with all its challenges and trials. But one thing is for sure and there will be snowboarding in 2021, as Zach Miller posted himself “flying into 2021.”

“Happy New Year everybody,” Miller wrote. “2020 wasn’t easy, but I’m thankful for all the support I’ve gotten from everybody and the good times I’ve been able to share with lots of you. Here’s to a new year full of opportunities and more good vibes!”

Mike Schultz also had a New Year’s message, posting a collage of all the happy moments his family enjoyed even in a difficult year.

“That’s a wrap 2020,” Schultz wrote. “Definitely didn't turn out as planned but we were still able to make some great things happen this year. This year forced us away from our 'normal' path and made for some real challenges, but that wasn't necessarily always a bad thing ... you just gotta adapt to the situation and make the most of it.”

In The News

Adaptive Action Sports athlete Kiana Clay was profiled by the International Paralympic Committee. Not just a snowboarder, Clay is also described as an “adrenaline junkie” who also surfs and does motocross. Clay has thus far competed on the Para snowboarding world cup circuit and hopes to compete at the Paralympic Games, however her upper limb classification isn’t set to be included on the Paralympic program until 2026.


The Beijing Organizing Committee has announced the pictograms that will represent every sport and discipline to take place at the 2022 Winter Games. Snowboarding has five icons to represent the various equipment and courses that differ across the disciplines. The pictograms are based on a Chinese seal engraving process that dates back thousands of years.


The International Paralympic Committee took a look back at the moments that mattered in 2020, and recognized Brittany Coury and her service as a nurse throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Todd Kortemeier

Todd Kortemeier is a sportswriter, editor and children’s book author from Minneapolis. He is a contributor to USParaSnowboarding.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.