Mike grew up with a passion for snowboarding and couldn’t get enough of it. In September 2002, his life changed forever after being involved in a traumatic boating accident. While wakeboarding with friends at a local lake in California, the ski rope wrapped around his ankle, causing the instant amputation of his left leg.
During Mike’s recovery, he began to dedicate the majority of his time towards of number of sports and hobbies. He immediately took a liking to one hobby in particular: woodworking. He discovered the unique craft one weekend while building a doghouse. From that point forward he was hooked, and began to dedicate his life to learning the art of fine furniture.
In 2010, Mike received a call from the coach of the National Sports Center for the Disabled inviting him to come to Colorado to train with a team of snowboarders. Mike had to decide if he was going to continue building his life in California, or give it all up to chase his dream of being a competitive snowboarder. Mike ultimately made the decision to pursue snowboarding, packing up his wood shop and selling all of his tools to help fund his move.
Shortly after, Mike became one of the top adaptive snowboarders in the world, winning the first ever overall title for the International Paralympic Committee Alpine Skiing Para-Snowboard World Cup circuit in 2014. Mike is a two-time U.S. Paralympian who represented Team USA at the Paralympic Winter Games Sochi 2014 and at the Paralympic Winter Games Pyeongchang 2018.
Mike works closely with The Hartford, a Founding Partner of U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee, helping to positively change public attitudes and perceptions about disability.
For more information about Mike’s accomplishments, visit Team USA’s website.
Photo by Benjamin Edwards
5833t NS 04/19