Adaptive athletes are honestly some of the most badass people on the planet, but that’s just one company’s opinion. They are faced with the ultimate obstacle, losing the privilege that the rest of us take for granted, a fully functioning physical body. Doing everyday tasks like taking a shower, making breakfast or driving a car can be agonizing and energy depleting. Every single thing throughout your day, even just a concrete curb, is now, a challenge to overcome. At DIVERT, we believe your ability to overcome obstacles unlocks the key to attaining the life you want. If you are a professional at overcoming obstacles, nothing can stand in your way. When you think about it, this gives adaptive athletes almost a super human ability to see a difficult task, devise a solution and triumph. Basically, in our eyes, they’re super heros.
Disabled athletes Oscar Loreto, left, and Katherine Beattie, right, ripping at Venice Skate Park. (Photo By Robert Casillas of Daily News)
That is why, since day one, we have been in partnership with Adaptive Action Sports. The mission of Adaptive Action Sports is clear:
“To create and promote Action Sport Camps, Events and programs for youth and youth adults living with permanent physical disabilities. Action Sports we believe encourage individuality and creativity while building independence and self-confidence.”
The question we always ask, is why? Why would a person who has to strategically avoid certain restaurants because there is no ramp, want to take on Action Sports? A pastime, that many able bodied individuals avoid because of the difficult body movement and apparent danger.
The first answer, is because they are total savages! The second answer, is because Action Sports play to their strengths; their super-human ability to overcome obstacles. Rather than taking on the everyday task, they can apply their grit and resilience to something that is progressive, engaging and supportive. They deal with falling, struggling and learning new things everyday. When they show up at a skatepark or mountain, what do they find? A community of people who are falling, struggling and learning new things. All of a sudden if feels like they are home and they know exactly what to do!
The Founders of ADACS, Amy Purdy and Daniel Gale, made this connection a long time ago. They realized that just like everyone else, Adaptive Athletes need a place to learn and grow, more importantly, a place to belong. Amy herself is a double leg amputee, but you wouldn’t know if from the Gold Medals on her desk, the commercials that she has starred in, and most of all, her 2nd place finish on dancing with the stars. Daniel has found a passion in the work. He has been an Action Sport enthusiast his whole life and has an highly-esteemed track record in Action Sports events and programs. The two are not only married, but are a powerhouse in the industry.
Amy Purdy and Daniel Gale, a power couple on and off the slopes. (ESPN)
One day, they decided to intersect their talents and passion, and boom! Adaptive Action Sports was born. To this day they have hosted over 50 Action Sports event that has served over 200 adaptive athletes. They have become a training ground for Paralympic athletes and will continue to send countless individuals to the biggest stage in sport. Beyond that, they have created a model of hope, community and inspiration for athletes and all the people that watch them Achieve Their I’mpossible everyday.
Over the next few months, we will do features on some of the ADACS athlete’s and their unbelievable stories, so make sure to stay tuned. If you want to see more mind-bending photos of Adaptive Athlete’s doing things you probably wouldn’t, follow their instagram at @adaptiveactionsports.
Sean co-founded the non-profit, “A Walk on Water”, which specializes in Ocean and Surf Therapy for people needing the healing powers of the ocean. A Walk on Water was founded in 2012 by four men who shared the belief that the ocean’s healing powers could help people. They all had a passion for Surf Therapy and giving back, so they wanted to make it accessible to children who needed it in the USA.