Athletes gather in Texas for Extremity Games

The eighth annual Extremity Games was recently held at the Texas Ski Ranch in New Braunfels, Texas.

Extremity Games, an extreme adaptive sports competition for athletes with limb loss or limb difference hosted by the Athletes with Disabilities Network, kicked off on June 14 with instructional clinics in kayaking, wakeboarding and rock climbing. Participants also watched exhibitions in powerlifting and mixed martial arts, as well as a basketball demonstration led by the AMP 1stand up amputee basketball team. The day concluded with the skateboarding competition, with Oscar Loreto securing the first place finish.

The main event began on June 15 with the mountain biking competition. Andy May won the transtibial division for the third consecutive year, and Mike Schultz was the first place finisher in the transfemoral division.

The second event of the day was kayaking. In the men’s elite division, transradial amputee David Etier powered his way to first place, edging out last year’s defending champion Jeff Waldmuller, who came in second. In the women’s division, Paralympic hopeful Kelly Allen took first for the third consecutive year.

Following kayaking, the crowd gathered for the powerlifting competition. Kedgerick Smith, last year’s first place finisher, successfully defended his title with a winning lift of 350 lbs.

Inside the ranch, the rock climbers prepared for competition. A series of preliminary climbs determined the finalists, and in the men’s division, Waldmuller took first, with Alex Miller in second and Matt Hawkins in third. In the women’s division, Brooke Artesi edged out Kathryn McCravey to take first.

The final competition of the day was wakeboarding. Categorized by elite, novice and sitboarding, each competitor was given 5 minutes on the lake to land their best tricks. Scores from the preliminaries were used to determine the order of the finals, where each boarder was given one final pass, or two lengths of the lake.

In the sitboarding division, first-time competitor Angel Gonzalez took first by landing a 360° turn. The novice winner was Nathan Beels. Beels was also the only skurfboarder of the day, which involves being towed behind the boat while riding a surf board without bindings to secure his feet.

In the elite competition, Extremity Games veteran and two-time consecutive winner Sean Reyngoudt added a third gold medal to his collection winning the division. He was followed by fellow veteran competitor Billy Tonis in second and Mike Schultz in third.

All of the athletes in the elite divisions earned cash prizes, and the athletes in the novice divisions earned prizes including gift cards and athletic apparel and equipment.

For video from the Games, click here.

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