Ottobock, Minneapolis, Minnesota, has named Keith Gabel of Ogden, Utah, as its newest company ambassador. Gabel, who has a transtibial amputation, will serve as a role model for young athletes with disabilities by working with Ottobock to promote the importance of an active lifestyle and showcasing the technology that he uses in daily life and to compete in snowboarding.
A member of the first-ever U.S. Paralympic Snowboard team, Gabel is ranked first in the world in the sport and is a favorite to medal as the event makes its Paralympic debut in Sochi 2014, Ottobock said. Additional career highlights include winning gold in the X-Games Para Snowboard Cross, being a seven-time World Cup medalist, and being the first person with an amputation to ever hit a 65 foot plus jump in an international competition.
In addition to snowboarding Gabel hikes, wakeboards, downhill and cross-country mountain bikes, rock climbs, camps, fishes, cliff dives, and skateboards.
“Keith’s myriad activities and the feedback he can give us regarding the performance of the Ottobock products he uses will greatly contribute to how we reach and support people with limb loss around the world,” said Karen Lundquist, Ottobock’s director of communications, North America. “We’re also very excited to support the new-to-the-Paralympics sport of snowboarding in which he excels and which we believe will result in a whole new viewing audience for parasports.”
When not training, Gabel commits his time to seeking out other people who are struggling to rehabilitate from an accident or life-altering illnesses. He has also volunteered for Peach’s Neet Feet, among other organizations, and he is one of only two Paralympic athletes nationwide to represent the U.S. Olympic Committee’s “Team for Tomorrow” youth-focused outreach program.