An accident changed Scott Rigsby’s life forever, but it didn’t take away his spirit. With a supportive team and a drive to push the limits of what was possible, he went on to compete and win in one of the world’s toughest races—the Ironman. “Doing the Unthinkable” is a motto Scott Rigby embraced when he decided to change the world by breaking down barriers for physically challenged athletes. In October 2007, he became the first double amputee wearing prostheses to finish an Ironman distance triathlon. Scott, 39, finished the 2.4 mile swim portion in 1:28:48, the 112 mile cycling race in 8:19:30, and the 26.2 mile marathon in 6:23:33, for an overall time of 16:42:46.
Scott completed the 16 hour race without using the modified race equipment. Instead, he used a combination of Freedom Innovations prosthetic components to help him through this grueling challenge. Following the ocean swim, Scott headed to the transition area to donn custom designed cycling prostheses that incorporated a pair of modified Freedom Innovations Senator Feet. He rode through 100+ degree heat and gusting winds through lava fields on the Big Island of Hawaii, on a standard road bike. One hundred miles later Scott changed into his “running legs” with two Nitro Running Feet and specially designed sockets to begin the last leg of the race, the 26.3 mile marathon. With the aid of two small lights attached to these prostheses, Scott ran for over 6 hours in the darkness to achieve his goal to obtain a world record. Just before midnight on October 14th, 2007 Scott Rigsby’s journey reached its pinnacle as he crossed the finish line to claim his place in history. As he heard the words “Scott Rigsby – you are an Ironman” announced over the PA system, he knew he had done the unthinkable. Today, Scott knows there are many more finish lines to cross. He has dedicated his life to working with amputees to set their own goals; the more unthinkable – the better!
In 1999, at age 19, Amy came home with what she thought was the flu. Just 24 hours later, she was in the hospital, given a two percent chance of living. Bacterial meningitis was taking its toll on her body and after two and a half months of hospitalization, Amy had lost her spleen, both kidneys, hearing in her left ear, and both legs below the knee. Today, despite the odds, Amy is an Olympic snowboarder, co-founder of Adaptive Action Sports, a motivational spokeswoman, actress, and now, a dancer. Amy Purdy has inspired the country in season 18 of ABC’s reality favorite Dancing with the Stars, with an array of performances that were nothing short of incredible. She and her partner, Derek Hough, consistently impressed both the judges and viewers with their breath taking performances, and eventually placed second in the competition.
Freedom Innovations designed the high-tech prosthetics Amy wore during her medal-winning snowboarding efforts at the Sochi games, and also helped fit the star with special prosthetics for her Dancing with the Stars performances. The Runway allowed Amy to wear heels while providing the dynamic flexibility she needed for several of the performances throughout the competition. The Nitro gave her the bounce and lightning fast energy return she needed to dance the Quick Step. However, the performance that caught most everyone’s eyes was the tear-jerking tribute to her father in week three, in which Amy danced on pointed toes. She seemed to defy gravity throughout the dance, standing on the tips of her rubber and carbon fiber feet. Technically designed for high performance swimming, the company’s angled Freestyle Swim feet enabled Amy to perform on pointed toes for the graceful and emotionally resonant dance choreographed by Hough. While Amy’s dance was dedicated to her father, the show’s judges commented that her performance also sent a resounding message of determination and hope for those who have lost limbs, and for anyone facing adversity. Amy has helped to change the perception of the abilities of those living with limb loss and continues to inspire millions along the way. She is very conscious about eating organic, multi-grain foods, and drinking plenty of fluids.
She is a member of the Paralympics Development Team and one of 12 amputee athletes to compete in triathlons nationwide. Her goal is to establish triathlon as a competition in the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing. Just The Stats… Amy holds the World Record in Triathlons for female below the knee amputees. She recently won first place in the Silver Strand Half Marathon in San Diego, finishing with a time of 1:55. She stands as fourth time winner of the National Half Marathon Championship. Amy also took first place in her division in the 2004 Accenture Chicago Triathlon. Having completed ten marathons to date, Amy set the world record in October 2002 at the St. George, Utah, Marathon. At this marathon, she outpaced the former record, set by Lindsay Nielsen in 1999, by over 24 minutes. As a newcomer to triathlons, Amy won the gold medal in her division in the ITU World Championship Olympic Distance Triathlon held in Queenstown, New Zealand, in December 2003. Amy’s Story… Amy Dodson, 42, lost her left leg and lower lobe of her left lung to cancer (undifferentiated sarcoma) in 1983 and began distance running 15 years later. In 1999 she began running marathons, and in 2003 began competing in triathlons, capturing the gold medal in the 5000 meter at the DSUSA National Games in 1999 (http://Freedom-Innovations.com).
Corey Reed is a thirty-one year old, blind, below-the-knee amputee who is making a name for himself as a professional adaptive athlete. Cory’s accomplishments as a professional adaptive athlete are apparent in his sportsmanship and never-give-up attitude, which is portrayed in every wake of his existence. He is a licensed Massage Therapist, an avid CrossFitter, and the first adaptive athlete to compete in an able-bodied CrossFit competition with team CrossFit Los Angeles in the Phoenix Europa SICEST of the Southwest 2012. Cory is perfecting his sport as a competitive wakeboarder and enjoys the exhilaration received with free-ride snowboarding. In 2012, he became the first blind athlete to participate in the Extremity Games and is always looking for new opportunities and to redefine what is possible.
In addition to developing his physical strength and endurance, Corey is currently developing his mission in life, a motivational lifestyle brand called RIDE WITH CORE – which can be described as providing inspiration to others and demonstrating that regardless of where you are, or where you have been, you have the power to change your lifestyle and overall outlook on the world if you dedicate yourself in doing so. RIDE WITH CORE aims to provide people with the inspiration, motivation, tools and knowledge to create a better life through physical fitness, a positive mind set, nutritional guidance and overall spiritual awareness. Corey Reed 1Corey believes in the human spirit, the power of kindness and that when we inspire others and show them how to implement change into our lives; we are changing more than the individual life of one person but the lives of many. Beyond an athlete and a humanitarian, Corey lives each day with the intent of being the best he can possibly be, which is how he inspires many to RIDE WITH CORE (http://Freedom-Innovations.com).
For most athletes, a marathon is the farthest they’ve ever attempted to run, but for amputee and world-record marathon runner, Amy Dodson gearing up for a marathon is a warm-up compared to preparing for a triathlon. Having competed in many triathlons in the past, Amy continues to go full force each year working to beat her personal record. Biking seriously for the past four years, Amy first started riding with a close friend. Today, she is found competing all over the world.
Amy and her prosthetist Jan Stokosa, C.P., operate like a team. Jan focuses on the mechanics, while Amy determines whether she will have maximum strength when she takes the leg to competitions. The biking leg has been uniquely designed to connect directly to the pedal. It will be modified to meet her individual needs.
Amy Classroom Typical Training Day… Amy Dodson is determined to keep up her athletic lifestyle while still managing a heavy workload as a teacher and a family. Now that the school year is complete, you would think that Amy has extra time on her hands, but her day starts earlier than you might expect. A typical work day for Amy begins not at 8 AM, but at 4:30 AM, she drinks a protein-filled shake and by 5:30 she’s en route for her 7-10 mile run. She then inhales a protein bar and moves into her next workout – swimming for an hour and a half. By noon she’s more than two-thirds of her ways done. She breaks for lunch and then it’s off to training for the next 2-4 hours – this time only on the bike.
In addition to this daily routine, Amy weight trains five days a week, focusing on different muscle groups each day and a couple of nights a week she ventures off to the nearby lakes and does open water swimming. You would think that’s enough, but for this avid athlete it’s not. One day a week Amy goes to Ann Arbor and does a “brick” workout — a bike run. In an average week, Amy is running. (photos courtesy of Freedom-Innovations.com).