NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas — On Saturday, June 23, athletes from across the country gathered for Extremity Games 7, a day-long adaptive extreme sport competition for athletes with limb loss or spinal cord injury.
The competition, held at the Texas Ski Ranch in New Braunfels, Texas, kicked off on Friday with a series of clinics and exhibitions in skateboarding, wakeboarding and sit-boarding, rock climbing, kayaking, cycling, powerlifting and mixed martial arts.
The main event was held on Saturday, with both elite and novice competitions in mountain biking, skateboarding, kayaking, powerlifting, rock climbing and wakeboarding. Approximately 70 athletes competed this year, about twice as many as last year.
The competition began with the mountain biking race. The riders, competing in either the below-knee or above-knee riding group, completed six laps on the race course, which included a series of tight turns, steep hills and jumps. Extremity Games 6 defending champions Andy May and Stephen Buchler, the BK and AK winners, respectively, placed first in the elite categories.
Competition continued with skateboarding, where the athletes showed off their best tricks during a 10-minute jam session. Greg Shaw, a bilateral amputee, stole the show and placed first in the elite group. Power-lifting followed, and Kedgerick Smith, who is paralyzed from the waist down, placed first by bench pressing 350 pounds.
|Images: Gilbride, M|
On the other side of the ranch, the kayakers took to the water. After a series of preliminary races, Jeff Waldmuller, Jim Wazny and Mike Schulenberg placed first, second and third, respectively, in the final heat for the men’s elite group. Representing the women’s elite group, Kelly Allen defended her EXG 6 title and placed first, followed by Kimberly Olson, second and Katelyn Porzell, third.
The competition then moved inside, where the rock climbers competed three climbs, each getting progressively harder. Pete O’Brien, Andy May and Jeff Waldmuller, all unilateral amputees, scored the best times and took first, second and third, respectively. Kimberly Olson, the only female competitor, received an honorable mention.
The Games concluded with the wakeboarding competition. Each competitor received 10 minutes to display their best tricks on the lake. The novice group was scored based on these runs alone, and the top three scorers in the elite group, Sean Reyngoudt, Billy Tonis and Logan Aldridge, moved on to the finals. Each boarder was given one final run, two lengths of the lake, to land their best tricks. Reyngoudt, a transtibial amputee and the defending champion, easily preserved his title, with Tonis and Aldridge following in second and third. Trevor Wallace took home the first place title for the novice group.
The motocross portion of the competition was held separately at Baja Acres in Millington, Mich. on May 26. The event had two divisions, stand up and sit down. Mike Schultz a transfemoral amputee, took first for the second consecutive year, followed by Jim Wazny in second and Nick Mardis in third. The sit down winners were Darius Glover in first place, Jesse Gildea, second place and John Harris, third place.
All of the winners in the elite group received cash prizes, and novice group winners received a variety of prizes that included gift cards, athletic apparel and gear.