PARK CITY, Utah (ABC4) – Five-time Olympic snowboarder Shaun White surprised a very special fan during a recent visit to Woodward Park City.
White was in Park City to surprise Zach Sherman, a 35-year-old triple amputee snowboarder who’s pursuing his lifelong passion for the sport.
Sherman says during a training session, he arrived at Woodward planning to meet his coach but was greeted by a very special guest instead.
“I thought I was just going to train with my coach at Woodward in Park City,” said Sherman. “When I was waiting at the chairlift, a snowboarder wearing all black walked up to me, lifted his goggles, and said ‘Hey dude, I’m Shaun, wanna go take some laps?’”
Sherman lost both legs and an arm after a motorcycle accident in 2010. Since the accident, Sherman has been recovering over the past 12 years while also rediscovering his lifelong love of snowboarding. Sherman says his recovery process allowed him to achieve independent living again by stepping out of his wheelchair and regaining mobility with prosthetic legs.
After creating a special set of binding attachments, Sherman has rediscovered the joys of snowboarding as an adaptive snowboarder.
The two athletes rode a lift up the mountain and raced down the slopes together.
“We entered the halfpipe and Shaun pulled off some tricks right in front of me,” says Sherman. “At the bottom, he reached in his pocket, handed me a grant award from CAF and told me to go live out my dreams.”
Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) is an organization that focuses on providing adaptive athletes with the necessary equipment and resources to participate and compete in sports.
“It was an amazing morning on the mountain meeting Zach, he is such an inspiration to everybody,” says White.” I was thrilled to play a small part in his journey with adaptive snowboarding and help support the mission of CAF to provide opportunities and access to sports for people with physical challenges.”
“CAF believes everyone should have access to sports,” says the organization. “Everyone has a unique personal story, and without this critical funding, participation in sports would be unattainable due to the general lack of insurance coverage for adaptive equipment and limited opportunities for these individuals to practice and compete.”
To check out video of White and Sherman’s day together at the resort, click here.