August 2, 2013
Jim Martinson once dreamed that he could spend his life as a skibum.
Then he went on a tour of duty in Vietnam. Jim was injured in a landmine explosion.
Jim did not allow this accident to break his will. He returned to the US and, following his recovery, began his journey in a wheelchair. When he awoke from a medically-induced coma, he looked down and saw that both of his legs were gone—to which his reaction was, “What next?”
Before long, Jim became a pioneer of disabled sports, fighting for—and winning—acceptance of wheelchair categories.
Jim can be considered a ‘Founding Father’ of many adaptive sports. He is best known for his development of the first mono-ski that utilized a mono-shock; this same ski also enabled individuals to get off the chair and ski-lift on their own.
Jim was not only an innovator, but also an athlete (and a quite successful one, to say the least). A three-sport Paralympian, Martinson medaled multiple times. In 1992 he won gold in the men’s mono-ski downhill division. He was also a four-time gold medalist and also a silver medalist in racing.
Jim believes that he and all other physically-disabled individuals can do any and all activities that able-bodied individuals can do, they just might have to do them a little differently.
Martinson is truly an inspiration to all physically-disabled individuals, including multi-Paralympic medalist, Chris Waddell. Not only has his work with adaptive sporting equipment increased the accessibility of various adaptive sports, but his tenacity and perseverance in the face of seemingly insurmountable others has also driven others to pursue their dreams no matter what limitations they may face.
Mr. Martinson shared insight into his journey and conveyed his passion for adaptive sports in Make A Hero’s ‘The Movement: One Man Joins An Uprising‘ (view trailer below)
How has Jim’s story inspired you?
Please comment below …
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