Tyler Walker had his legs amputated when he was four years old. He was born with lumbar sacral agenesis, a birth defect that meant he was born without most of his spine.
“My parents had my legs amputated, which was a good decision, because my legs were just flopping around underneath me," Walker said in an interview from his home in Aspen, where he now lives and trains with the US Disabled Ski Team. "Since I can get out and walk around on my hands so easily, I’m glad they did.”
Originally from Franconia, NH Walker is a two-time Paralympian and a multi-time X-Games Gold Medalist. He has a lot to be proud of; this year at the International Paralympic Skiing NorAm Cup, he won five out of six events.
The first time I met Tyler was back in the late 1990’s when I was hiking over to ski the backside of Cannon Mountain. There he was, with a friend who was pushing and pulling him in his mono ski up and over the top of the mountain to ski some new snow on the backside of Cannon. I’ve been a fan ever since.
Chris Devlin-Young, whom Walker met at the Disabled Ski Programs at both Loon and Waterville Valley ski areas, is known as a fearless athlete who recently skied the famed Corbet's Coulior in Jackson Hole.
Devlin-Young, who is also from New Hampshire, a World Champion and four-time Paralympian, has become a coach, mentor and friend to Walker. Together they are aiming for the 2014 Games in Sochi, Russia.
“I like to ski the most challenging part of any mountain," said the 26-year-old Walker. A 10-year veteran of the US Disabled Ski Team, he's is heading over to Spain to the World Championships next week.
Listen to my entire interview with Tyler, and follow his progress at the “Worlds” and on the road to the Paralympics in Sochi Russia in 2014, here at Edging the Xtreme on Radio BDC.
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