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Whitefish amputee aims for Paralympics

By Scott Zoltan, KECI Reporter, szoltan@keci.com
Published On: Mar 19 2013 09:35:31 PM MDT
Updated On: Mar 20 2013 03:30:57 PM MDT
WHITEFISH, Mont. -

36-year old Whitefish resident Lucas Grossi lost one of his legs in a car accident when he was just a 12-year old boy, but his disability hasn’t stopped him from following his passions. Not long after the accident, he threw all of his energy into excelling as an adaptive snowboarder. Now, he has his sights set on the 2014 Paralympic Games is Sochi, Russia.

In 2000, he helped organize and compete in the first adaptive snowboarding competition in the world. He has been spending a lot of time training at Whitefish Mountain Resort this winter in hopes of making it to the Paralympics.

“As anyone with a new disability, you’re kind of given a choice as to whether you’re going to get off the couch or whether you’re not,” said Grossi.

On Tuesday, he was the first snowboarder in the United States to try out a new prosthetic technology developed by a German company called Ottobock. 

“[It’s] a completely new design for a sports type of foot. It has a hydraulic pneumatic system, which acts much like a gas shock, maybe like you would find on a mountain bike or something like that, ” said Greg Schneider, who works in the Research and Development division at Ottobock.