Sometimes life tests us by throwing heavy stones right where it hurts the most. People often find themselves getting crushed but few pick these up and build a castle out of it. Just like this young man, who after getting paralyzed in a snowboarding accident, made his way into sports by becoming an extreme wheelchair skater.
Tony Thogmartin, a skating enthusiast became the victim of a deadly joke that life played on him. Back in 2017, the young man who is now 25 years of age met with a serious snowboarding accident. The incident severely injured his spine for which he also had to go under the knife to save his existence. Though the surgery saved his life, the skater was left wheelchair-bound as the accident left him paralyzed from the waist down.
But the 25-year-old showed us all what true sportsman spirit is, as he heroically took this cruel challenge in his stride. The accident did change many things for this athlete but it couldn’t take away his love for skating as it was, in Tony’s words, his ‘Favorite thing to do’. Many people may think that the wheelchair became his weakness but he proved them all wrong. Tony made the same chair his biggest weapon as he took up wheelchair skating, got trained three to four times a week and became a sponsored candidate in the sport.
The athlete recalled the horrifying incident and said that he along with his friends were enjoying snowboarding when one jump went wrong and he came down on his back. He said that he instantly lost any sensation on his waist and below and was in terrible pain. The full treatment took a total of 40 days of hospitalization, of which 30 days consisted of therapy to help him adjust with the wheelchair.
He further revealed that he saw other people doing wheelchair skating and that was enough motivation for him to start this new sport. He has been using the WCMX (wheelchair motocross) chair which was customized by Colours in Corona, California to cope better with his physical condition. The sportsman also shared his training schedule and said that he gets himself trained at the skater park three-four times in a week. The rest of the days are focused on his body conditioning exercises.
Talking about how people react, Tony said that he has made peace with the practice of people staring at him in amazement. The stares made him nervous at first but now he thinks that it is fair for people to do so since what he does is pretty amazing. He also told his fans that getting injured is what skating is all about. For example, he had to get his fingertip stitched back after an injury.
All the training and bruises that Tony endured got him silver in the North American Championship and 2nd position in the USA National Championship of Skateboarding. The determined soul still feels that he still has a lot to achieve and he does not regret a thing in his life. He feels extremely grateful for how his life has been and thinks that the tragedy was to teach him to become a positive human and now he is confident about grabbing any opportunity that comes his way.