Shaun White surprises triple-amputee snowboarder with Challenged Athletes Foundation grant
PARK CITY, Utah — Olympic snowboarding legend Shaun White and the Challenged Athletes Foundation teamed up for a special surprise in Park City.
White surprised Zach Sherman, a triple-amputee snowboarder from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, at Woodward Park City with a snowboarding session before presenting Sherman with a grant to help him with “coaching, travel and training expenses so he can pursue his dream of competing in adaptive snowboard competitions.”
Sherman, 35, lost both legs and an arm after a life-threatening motorcycle accident in 2010. According to the CAF, Sherman has been an avid snowboarder since the late 90s and claims the sport has been an integral part of his life from a young age.
“Over the last 12 years, Zach has restarted his life and has been adapting as a triple amputee,” the CAF said. “He has stepped out of his wheelchair, established mobility using prosthetic legs, and is currently enjoying independent living.”
“I thought I was just going to train with my coach at Woodward in Park City,” said Sherman. “When I was waiting at the chairlift, a snowboarder wearing all black walked up to me, lifted his goggles, and said ‘Hey dude, I’m Shaun, wanna go take some laps?’”
The two boarded the chairlift and got to know each other before racing down the slopes.
“We entered the halfpipe and Shaun pulled off some tricks right in front of me,” Sherman said. “At the bottom, he reached in his pocket, handed me a grant award from CAF and told me to go live out my dreams.”
“With the CAF grant for coaching, training and travel funds, Zach will be able to continue improving his rising ability and compete in adaptive events in pursuit of his dreams,” said Christy Fritts, CAF spokesperson.
“Their shared experience demonstrates that with right equipment, access and opportunity, athletes of all abilities can shred the slopes and halfpipe together,” the CAF said.
The CAF was created to answer the needs of individuals with physical challenges wanting to participate and compete in sports. They say they will distribute over 3,000 grants to individuals around the world for adaptive sports equipment, training and competition expenses this month.
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