How do you feel about the story below, Should a wheelchair athelete be allowed to train on the roads?

Should Wheelchair-Bound Man Be Allowed To Train On Streets Of Gig Harbor, (WA)?

December 26, 2012 Wheelchair-Bound Athlete in Training.

Terry and Vickie Hoefer will run together in an upcoming race. The mother-and-son team has been participating in several area races. (LEE GILES III/The Peninsula Gateway)

Should a man in a motorized wheelchair who is training to compete in a full 26.2 mile marathon be allowed to do so on city streets, even if the training obstructs traffic?

That’s the question being asked in Gig Harbor, WA according to a report in today’s The News Tribune. The piece details the story of Terry Hoefer, a wheelchair-bound 20-year-old man living with cerebral palsy.

To build up his stomach and hand muscles and stamina, the newspaper reports, Hoefer has been training along city streets with his mother running alongside him and his father following immediately behind them with his blinkers flashing and a sign that read “disabled runner.” Hoefer has already completed a half-marathon.

Things were fine until a volunteer police officer informed the family that what they were doing was illegal because they were obstructing traffic.

That prompted his mother, Vicki, to call Gig Harbor city officials to learn what laws restrict wheelchair use on public roads.

She didn’t like what she was told.

Mayor Chuck Hunter gave her copies of state laws, including one that says medium-speed electric vehicles are allowed on certain roads, but the driver must be licensed.

Terry Hoefer, who is visually impaired and gets his mother’s help navigating the streets when they’re training, laughed about that one.

“I was thinking, ‘Oh, how is that going to work?’ ” he said.

The conversation with Hunter pushed the Hoefers to investigate further.

“I said, ‘No, my son has the right to be on the road like anyone else,’ ” Vickie Hoefer said.

She called the State Patrol, Department of Licensing and the offices of her local representatives trying to clarify the rules.

“Basically, we can ride on the designated bike lanes all over, but we can’t ride on a street that doesn’t have a white line,” she said she learned this month.

Should a wheelchair-bound man should be allowed to use city streets if it obstructs traffic?

Owen Thompson, 14-Year-Old With Tourette Syndrome, Banned From Soccer For Swearing

Reposted from Huffington post 

Owen Thompson Tourette


In a decision his mother called “ridiculous,” a British youth soccer league suspended a 14-year-old player with Tourette syndrome for cursing at the referee, The Sun reports.

Owen Thompson, playing goalkeeper last month for Ware Youth in the Hertfordshire Football Association, reportedly objected to a goal scored against him and told the offical to “f— off.”

Melanie Burgess, the boy’s mom, said she showed the referee a medical card proving that her son has Tourette syndrome — which can cause tics and involuntary swearing — but to no avail, according to The Sun. He was barred for two games and fined £25.

“Football often suppresses my tics, but I cannot control them when I get upset or stressed,” Thompson told the Mirror.

League head Nick Perchard said officials concluded that the lack of respect Thompson showed to the referee afterward had nothing to do with his Tourette syndrome, so the player merited the penalty, the Mirror reports. An appeal was rejected.

Thompson has a role model in U.S. national soccer team goalkeeper Tim Howard, who also has Tourette syndrome. Other athletes with the condition have excelled as well, including David Beckham, former NBA star Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf (Chris Jackson) and ex-Minnesota Twins player Jim Eisenreich.

Tourette syndrome can take many forms, and coprolalia, the symptom that can involve outbursts of cursing, “is present in only a small minority of people with the syndrome,” according to Disabled World.

American amputee climbs skyscraper with bionic leg in 45 minutes

Reposted from a story From: AAP  November 05, 2012 1:25PM

Zac Vawter

Zac Vawter, a 31-year-old amputee, walks up the stairs of the Willis Tower in Chicago. Pictures: AP Source: AP

The metal on Zac Vawter bionic leg gleamed as he climbed 103 floors of Chicago’s iconic Willis Tower, becoming the first person ever to complete the task wearing a mind-controlled prosthetic limb.

Mr Vawter, who lost his right leg in a motorcycle accident, put the smart limb on public display for the first time during an annual stair-climbing charity event called ‘SkyRise Chicago’ hosted by the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, where he is receiving treatment.

“Everything went great,” he said at the event’s end. “The prosthetic leg did its part, and I did my part.”

He finished the climb in about 45 minutes.

Bionic Stair Climber  Zac Vawter

Zac Vawter, fitted with an experimental “bionic” leg, looks down from the Ledge at the Willis Tower in Chicago during a training session.Picture: AP /Brian Kersey

The robotic leg is designed to respond to electrical impulses from muscles in his hamstring. When Mr Vawter thought about climbing the stairs, the motors, belts and chains in his leg synchronized the movements of its ankle and knee.


The computerized prosthetic limb, like something one might see in a sci-fi film, weighs about 4.5 kilograms and holds two motors.

Bionic – or thought-controlled – prosthetic arms have been available for a few years, thanks to pioneering work done at the Rehabilitation Institute. Knowing leg amputees outnumbering people who’ve lost arms and hands, the Chicago researchers are focusing more on lower limbs. If a bionic hand fails, a person drops a glass of water. If a bionic leg fails, a person falls down stairs.

This event was a research project for us, said Joanne Smith, the Rehabilitation Institute’s CEO.

“We were testing the leg under extreme conditions. Very few patients who will use the leg in the future will be using it for this purpose. From that perspective, its performance was beyond measure,” she added.

To prepare for his pioneering climb, Mr Vawter said, he practiced on a small escalator at a gym, while researchers spent months adjusting the technical aspects of the leg to ensure that it would respond to his thoughts.

When Mr Vawter goes home to Washington where he lives with his wife and two children, the experimental leg will stay behind in Chicago. Researchers will continue to refine its steering. Taking it to the market is still years away.

“We’ve come a long way, but we have a long way to go,” said lead researcher Levi Hargrove of the institute’s Center for Bionic Medicine. “We need to make rock solid devices, more than a research prototype.”

The $7.7 million project is funded by the US Department of Defense and involves Vanderbilt University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Rhode Island and the University of New Brunswick.

“A lot of people say that losing a leg is like losing a loved one,” said Mr Vawter. “You go through a grieving process. You and establish a new normal in your life and move on. Today was a big event. It’s just neat to be a part of the research and be a part of RIC.”

Nearly, 3,000 climbers participated in the annual charity event, called SkyRise Chicago. Participants climbed about 2,100 steps to the Willis Tower’s SkyDeck level to raise money for the institute’s rehabilitation care and research

Wheelchair Warriors the first ever wheelchair MMA fighting school

When I was a child from a very early age I was trained by one of the finest kindest sensei’s In Australia In judo, My brother became involved with a 7th dan Tae Kwondo champion as a business partner and over the years he became a close family friend and through him I became a student.

My family was heavily into the military,Several brothers and brotherinlaw and uncles and even my step father all served their countries in vietnam and other conflicts.

I was from a home run by a single mother so the older siblings raised the younger ones, so military hand to hand combat was taught to me by my older siblings when they were home on leave.

By the time I was an adult I had competed in and won every title in my native country, and several others around the world. By the time I was 35 I held multiple dan grades in multiple martial arts and had considerable experience as both a champion and a private body guard or “executive security”.  Over the years  I was forced through ill health to stop training, and when I became fulltime in the wheelchair I always wondered If I had one more  fight left in me.

At the start of the 2012 london paralympics I was sent an amazing video It was of two men in wheelchairs fighting mixed martial arts and I wanted In .

I tracked down its origin and  I contacted the founders and trainers, and to cut a long story short I have been invited to be a coach when the Wheeled warriors establishes here in New York And I am counting the days.

If like me you want to climb past your disability and let no one put you in a box, then maybe a cage is just for you with an opponent in front of you, and dojo run by Wheeled warriors is your path to being all you can be interested?

here’s how you start

Wheelchair warriors is world wide and getting bigger every day, but the only way we the wheelchair community get the idea that were helpless out of the minds of the able bodied public is to show great atheletes like wheelchair Warriors doing what they are masters at and doing it to the best of their abilities. So If you’re interested in setting up a gym in your town or city or country, Or bringing a demonstration fight to a venue near you, please contact me and I will put you in touch with the founding teachers.

Triple amputee Marine walks out, throws first pitch

Participant in Zito’s Strikeouts for Troops Foundation, Kimmel honored before Game 2

 Accompanied by Barry Zito and Willie Mays, Marine corporal Nicholas Kimmel throws out the ceremonial first pitch

SAN FRANCISCO — Nick Kimmel has been a baseball fan his entire life, but he never could have imagined four years ago that the game he loves would play such an important role in helping him get through recent events that were both tragic and challenging.

In 2008, Kimmel decided to forego a partial scholarship offer to play baseball at Arizona State University, and instead enlisted in the Marines. Today, he’s piecing his life back together after losing both legs and an arm in an explosion while on his second tour of duty last year in Afghanistan.

World Series

Several Major League Baseball players, offering their time, resources and, most importantly, their friendship, have helped with the healing process. Giants pitcher Barry Zito is at the top of that list.

Kimmel threw out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 2 of the World Series on Thursday night, escorted by Zito, with whom he struck up a friendship during Spring Training earlier this year. Kimmel was one of 25 wounded Marines invited to Arizona to participate in Zito’s Strikeouts for Troops Foundation event, and since then, the two have stayed in close contact as Kimmel works to move on with his life as a triple amputee.

This wasn’t the first time Kimmel had thrown out a first pitch at a baseball game, but it was the first time he walked out to the mound on his own, without needing a wheelchair for assistance. In addition to Zito, Kimmel was also escorted by Hall of Famer Willie Mays. Just before he threw a strike to Giants closer Sergio Romo, Kimmel received a long standing ovation from the sellout crowd at AT&T Park and from almost everyone in uniform in both dugouts.

“I’m just so excited for him to be going out there, and I’m just honored to be a part of it,” Zito said.

When Kimmel met Zito at Spring Training, he was only a few months removed from the Dec. 2 explosion that severed three of his limbs. Initially quiet and timid, Kimmel eventually warmed up to Zito and several other Major Leaguers recruited by the pitcher to participate in the Strikeouts For Troops spring event, including Mark Kotsay, Brad Ziegler and Jake Peavy.

“He was really down,” Zito said. “He was really quiet at first, but we established a relationship over the last eight months. Kotsay, Peavy, a lot of the other boys … we text with him. He’d send little videos on the progress of his prosthetics, to all of us, in a group text. We were all supportive.”

And they were diligent about keeping in touch.

“Growing up, [seeing] baseball players, you’re just awestruck,” Kimmel said. “They don’t even seem human. Now, they’re just my friends.”

Kimmel lives in San Diego, and thanks to the Padres — who gave him season tickets at no cost — he attended all but 10 home games. For someone who says he “grew up living baseball,” having that kind of access to his home team — he also has an open invitation to attend batting practice whenever he wants — was a treat.

Kimmel garnered a ton of attention before the game Thursday, beginning with a news conference with Commissioner Bud Selig and four World War II-era baseball veterans who served the United States: Hall of Famer Bobby Doerr, Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda and legendary broadcasters Bob Wolff and Jerry Coleman.

Kimmel, sitting in the front row next to his father, Rick, received a standing ovation in a jam-packed news conference room filled with several recognizable baseball dignitaries, including Hall of Famer Frank Robinson, retired slugger Frank Thomas, Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski and former Commissioner Peter Ueberroth.

All of the men on the panel extended kind words to the Purple Heart Award winner.

“I’ve had heroes in my life — Joe DiMaggio, Babe Ruth,” Lasorda said. “But I look at this Marine here … this is my hero.”

Said Coleman: “When I [talk] to young groups, I ask them, ‘What’s your greatest weapon?’ ‘My arm, my leg.’ ‘No, it’s your brain.’ That’s what you want to do, Nick, get that going. It’ll work for you just fine.”

As Kimmel stood on the field preparing to throw out the pitch, he felt neither anxious nor nervous. Understandably, given what he’s been through, throwing a baseball in front of 40,000 people is, really, no big deal.

“The Marine Corps kind of numbs you to this kind of stuff,” Kimmel said. “It hadn’t really hit me a little bit until I got off the plane this morning. From all the missions that I’ve been trained to do, over and over and over, I’m not saying this is monotonous to me, but the nerves aren’t really there. The stress isn’t really there.

“I’ve done so much high-stress stuff all the time, it’s kind of another day of walking into the park, really. Other than it’s a world-wide scene and it’s the World Series.”

The visit may have been just another day at the park, but it’s likely one few who witnessed in person will forget

Wheelchair Bodybuilders Muscle Their Way to the Top


Nick Scott practices his poses backstage at the first ever Wheelchair Pro Show in Houston.

When he was 16, Nick Scott was in a near-fatal car accident. He was left paralyzed from the waist down. Nonetheless, Scott, now 30, is also known in certain circles—namely, the wheelchair bodybuilding world, a universe in which his is perhaps the most recognizable face—as “The Beast.” The Beast isn’t sure of his bench press limit, only because he hasn’t yet stopped reaching for more weight. The metaphor’s an obvious one, but true: ”If you want something bad enough, nothings gonna stop you from not getting it,” he has said.

And The Beast wants to spread the word: he was instrumental in the creation of the first-ever competition for certified International Federation of BodyBuilders (IFBB) Pro Wheelchair Bodybuilders, which was held last fall. The 2012 IFBB Pro Wheelchair championships took place Oct. 13 in Houston, an event open only to Scott and the dozen other men who have qualified as pros. Harold Kelley was named the winner in 2011 and 2012.

Photographer Lauren Fleishman has been documenting the sport for over a year, including that first competition. She first heard about wheelchair bodybuilding via a phone call from her cousin, who works in a hotel where a bodybuilding event took place. “I got so excited that I hung up the phone and began researching the sport,” she says.

Fleishman says that when she first began exploring the topic, she noticed that almost all of the photographs of bodybuilders, at least the ones that she could find, portrayed the participants in an almost grotesque manner. She wanted to avoid that look. “In showing a different side to it, it’s a way of connecting people, a way of changing their perceptions about the sport.”

Wheelchair bodybuilding competitions date back about 15 years, and both amateurs and professionals compete in worldwide events throughout the year. After following the participants for months, Fleishman says that, besides the normal suspense that comes with any competitive event, there’s another layer to it. “Seeing what being on stage does for them, they really, really shine,” she says. “You have a whole range of reasons why they compete, but the dedication and perseverance is really inspiring.” And it’s not just on stage: last May, in a Wal-mart in Texas, Fleishman accompanied Scott—the de facto spokesman for the sport—when he went to purchase batteries for his wheelchair, which is rigged to light up when he performs. Outside the store, a teenage boy, also in a wheelchair, approached Scott to say that he hoped one day to be like him. “You can obviously see that Nick has muscles,” says Fleishman. “The kid was impressed. It was a really nice moment to see that.”

But there has been one drawback to immersion in the wheelchair bodybuilding community during her year of photographing the project—and, as the work continues, it may only get worse. “It’s really hard,” Fleishman says, “because you want them all to win.”

Read more:


The Story Behind the First All-Disabled Ascent of El Cap

Mia’s thoughts- this is amazing I now know it’s possible ,6 months ago I started ttelling people I want to do this in 5 years for my birthday and I will so april 15th 2016 I will climb this now i have something to study these guys are my climbing heros.

 Reposted from a story by brendan leonard on October 24, 2012

Climbing teams attempting Zodiac, a 16-pitch aid route on Yosemite’s El Capitan, will debate beforehand about what gear to bring: an extensive list of cams, nuts, assorted hooks, pitons, rivet hangers. Only one time has a team brought along two prosthetic legs and a prosthetic arm.

This June, three men geared up at the base of Zodiac to attempt the first all-disabled climb of El Cap: Craig DeMartino, who lost his lower right leg after a climbing fall; Jarem Frye, who had his left leg amputated above the knee after a battle with bone cancer; and Pete Davis, who was born without his right arm.

The film about their climb, Gimp Monkeys, made its online debut this week, after winning the Sierra Club Exceptional Athlete Award at the Adventure Film Festival in October.

“I wanted to make something that was fun, that spoke about things beyond climbing and that my grandmother would find inspirational,” director Fitz Cahall says. “I mean, climbing is fun. That’s why these three guys do it. It’s fun — maybe Type Three fun in this case — but these guys view it as an absolute privilege and a blessing that they can still climb. Stop the hand wringing, ditch the excuses, make your personal goals a priority and go have fun. The gimp monkeys exuded that. I wanted to make a film about that.”

De Martino, Davis, and Frye met six years ago at the Extremity Games, the X Games for amputees, and began dreaming up a climb of the most famous piece of granite in the world. DeMartino and Frye attempted another El Cap route, Lurking Fear, in 2011, and came up short — Frye had lost weight while training for the climb, and his prosthetic leg, fitted around his lower thigh, didn’t quite fit. Frye’s leg fell off as he jugged the route, luckily catching on a sling on his harness instead of falling hundreds of feet to the ground. DeMartino and Frye decided to abandon the plan and come back next year.

To shoot the film on the 1,800-foot route this June, Cahall, Mikey Schaefer, and Austin Siadak — all accomplished climbers as well as filmmakers — chose to climb the route ahead of DeMartino, Davis, and Frye.

“Traditionally, when people film El Cap they come in from the top, but it kind of means that you are only there for certain parts of the day,” Cahall says. “I just wanted to be 200 feet ahead of them the entire time. I felt like we had to be there the entire time vs just showing up for the good light. So we just climbed the route just above them, careful to never to get in their way or assist. Our goal with filming was to match the Gimp Monkeys’ effort. I think we achieved that.”

The result is an honest, fun film about three guys who happen to be minus a few limbs. Three guys who should get used to hearing the word “inspiring” mentioned in the same sentence with their names, although that doesn’t seem to be their goal on Zodiac — they just want to get to the top of a big piece of stone.

“We’re not going to raise awareness, we’re not going to further the cause of disabled people, to show people anything,” DeMartino says in the film. “We were just going because we all like to climb, and it’s one of the raddest places to climb.”

But it’s hard to not be a least a little wowed as you watch DeMartino step his prosthetic foot into etriers with hundreds of feet of air underneath him, or watch Davis alternate hand jams and “stump jams” high on Zodiac.

“It’s all about perception,” Davis says in the film. “What do you really perceive as hard? I feel like having only one arm is a pretty minor inconvenience.”