Using seat belts to hold him down, paraplegic athlete Doug Henry flies to third in the Adaptive SnoCross competition at the Winter X Games.
Legendary motorcycle racer Doug Henry earned the bronze medal in the inaugural Adaptive SnoCross event at the 14th Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado.
The Adaptive SnoCross pits athletes with physical disabilities against each other in six-lap main event with six competitors. Henry, a four-time AMA Motocross
Champion, suffered paralysis as a result of a crash during 2007 in a Supermoto practice session. Prior to the crash, Henry had won gold and bronze medals in the Summer X Games in the Supermoto competition and is widely known for being the first rider ever to win a Supercross race on a 4-stroke machine.
Last fall, an ESPN producer put a bug in Henry’s brain about the upcoming SnoCross competition and he set about modifying his Yamaha
FX Nytro Snowmobile to accommodate his disability. A cushier seat and belts were added to keep Henry in the saddle while clearing the 60-foot jumps that litter the SnoCross race. He tested the equipment during some practice days at Pit X in New York before appearing in Aspen.
On Saturday, the Adaptive SnoCrossers got two practice sessions followed by a warm-up on Sunday before the race. At the start of the main, Henry suffered a small
Doug Henry cuts up after winning his bronze medal in the Winter X Games.
setback on the first double jump and he slipped back into the pack. Determined, he pushed his Yamaha up through the ranks until he sat directly behind Jim Wazny in second, but Henry ran out of time to complete the pass. Mike Schultz, who has a prosthetic leg, was the winner of the gold medal.
Henry made this comment after the race, “The hardest thing today was the rough track, which made it difficult for me. I was the only paraplegic in the event, and the only one strapped in, sitting down and hammering through the bumps the whole way. But the most rewarding thing was getting a medal! I’m also thankful to OTSFF Sports Marketing in Canada for letting me use their sled for the event. And thanks to Yamaha for continuing to support me with all these endeavors that keep coming up!”
2010 Winter X Games Adaptive Snocross Results:
1. Mike Schultz
2. Jim Wazny
3. Doug Henry
4. Jeff Tweet
5. E.J. Poplawski
6. Travis Gavelle
Video courtesy of ESPN.com.