British Columbia Bike Ride to Benefit Rehab Hospital
Cyclists, including amputees, hand cyclists, and able-bodied cyclists, are invited to join the Out of a Limb bike ride September 9-15 in British Columbia, Canada, said Steve Middleton, event organizer and transfemoral amputee. The charity ride will raise funds for the G.F. Strong Rehabilitation Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia. Also, the ride aims “to encourage others that they too, even though disabled, can continue to remain active and have a healthy lifestyle,” Middleton said.
Middleton was inspired to organize the bike ride after recovering from a near-fatal cycling accident in 2000. “I was in intensive care for three months, followed by two months at a rehabilitation hospital and another year of outpatient rehab,” Middleton said. “This accident resulted in well over a dozen surgeries, failing organs, and finally an above knee amputation.”
Middleton said the help he received at the G.F. Strong Rehabilitation Centre helped him to achieve his rehabilitative goals.
“The key to rehab is to find a good prosthetist-one who is willing to work with you as your mobility improves,” he said. “[I started] with walking, then swimming, cycling, golf, and finally skiing-all possible again but not without great challenge. Having spent many months in a wheelchair, I hoped cycling would provide me the freedom of mobility… I found each new trail an adventure and a great source of learning. I now consider myself a very active amputee. I stay involved with sports and train weekly within any sport I can conquer.”
The Out of a Limb bike ride will begin in Vancouver, head up along the Sunshine Coast to the Powell River, cross the Pacific via ferry to Courtenay on Vancouver Island, and then continue down the island’s tranquil coastal route to Victoria. The cyclists will then take another ferry hop back over the mainland and cycle into Vancouver. The distance will cover about 270 mi. (450km).
Cyclists are asked to raise funds for the event through sponsorships. The ride is fully supported, and all hotel rooms and breakfasts are provided free.
“Cyclists may tour with us for the entire seven days or simply join in at appropriate start days for one or two days,” the Out of a Limb website says. “Enter as a team. This is a fundraiser and open to cyclist schedules. Our aim is to have you cycle and enjoy whatever you can do.”
The registration and deposit deadline is Wednesday, August 1, 2007. Space is limited, so spots will be allocated on a first come, first-served basis.
Pistorius Sets New World Records
Oscar Pistorius established three new world amputee sprint records
at the Nedbank Championships for the Disabled April 1-7 in Germinston, South Africa. The 20-year-old Paralympian gold medalist has continued to live up to his reputation as “the fastest thing on no legs” by shaving time off his own 100m, 200m, and 400m world records. He has now smashed world records that he established since competing in the 2006 Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece, 26 times.
His 10.91-second time in the 100m on Wednesday, April 4, makes Pistorius the first amputee to officially break the 11-second mark. The young phenom followed this up on Thursday, April 5, with a win in the 200m when he ran the race in 21.58 seconds. The following day, Pistorius clocked a time of 49.16 seconds, or .26 seconds off the previous world record of 49.42 seconds. In all instances, timing was electronic and wind dated. Jan Bodvag from the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) was on hand to certify the authenticity of the world records.
Pistorius’ previous Paralympic time in the 200m, set last year, was 21.66. He has run the 200m in 21.34 seconds, but that was an able-bodied meet and doesn’t count toward the Paralympic world records. Pistorius competes in the T43 category for bilateral amputees, but his times qualify him as the fastest amputee in the world.
“I’m ecstatic,” said Pistorius, following the 200m sprint on Thursday. “And I’m not done yet,” he added.
Pistorius runs on Cheetah Flex Foot carbon fiber running legs made by Ossur, based in Reykjavik, Iceland.
“Oscar’s performance in recent events is astonishing considering his level of amputation,” said Ian Fothergill, Ossur Americas’ senior clinical marketing manager and in-house prosthetist for Ossur Americas, Aliso Viejo, California. Born without fibulas, Pistorius was only 11 months old when it became necessary to have both of his legs amputated. Nonetheless, he became a high school sports star, competing in rugby, tennis, and water polo. After breaking a knee at 17, he took up track. Just eight months later, he was winning medals at the 2004 Athens Paralympic Games. There was no stopping him from there.
CAF Funds 482 Challenged Athletes
The Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF),
based in San Diego, California, is providing specialized sports equipment, training, and travel expenses to an unprecedented number of physically challenged athletes through its Access for Athletes program, CAF recently announced. “In accordance with CAF’s primary mission, 482 athletes-from 45 U.S. states and the District of Columbia and 16 other countries worldwide will soon be receiving checks and certificates that will enable them to participate and compete in life-affirming athletic activities,” CAF said.
CAF Benefit Planned for the Big Apple
The Challenged Athletes Foundation