On November 15, a team of champion motocross racers will attempt to not only finish the most grueling off-road race, the Baja 1000, but become the first team of adaptive, amputee racers to do so.
The Baja 1000 is a 1,200 mile race through the desert of the Baja California Peninsula, beginning in Ensenada, Mexico and ending in La Paz, Mexico. Considered the most demanding and dangerous off-road race in the world, on average, only 29% of participants even finish.
The HERO Racing team includes “Monster” Mike Schultz, a transfemoral amputee and three-time X Games gold medalist; Chris Ridgway, also a transfemoral amputee and two-time X Games gold medalist; “Super” Mario Panagiotopoulos, transtibial amputee and off-road motocross racer; and Jim Wazny, a silver and bronze X Games medalist and transfemoral amputee.
“It is an honor to work with Mike, Chris and Mario to show the world what is possible when you put your mind to achieving something,” Wazny told O&P Business News.
The team hopes to raise awareness about the amputee community and will do so by carrying a prosthetic leg while racing as a symbol of carrying the dreams of other physically challenged athletes along with them. They will then deliver this prosthesis to a recipient at the finish line.
“Our goal is to finish the race, but also to have fun, bring awareness to the disabled community and raise money for other amputees,” Wazny said. “I look forward to handing the leg to a deserving amputee at the finish line and seeing a huge smile on their face.”
The HERO team is also working with Edge Factor, a television show that highlights innovations in manufacturing, to turn their race into a documentary called Dark Horses and generate even greater awareness about their mission.
“Having this movie made will help us help other amputees,” Wazny said. “What is motivating me to be a part of team HERO is that we are bringing awareness to amputees and giving back to the amputee community.”
To learn more about the Team HERO mission or donate to their cause, visit http://edgefactor.com/whatsnew.