10 Paralympians Who Inspire Us

10 Paralympians Who Inspire Us

The Paralympic Games is a grand stage where any individual with disabilities can succeed and achieve greatness as an athlete. Even if the Paralympians do not win any medals, being a part of such an event is an achievement and is something to be proud of. It shows that people with disabilities have the strength and motivation to break down barriers, overcome obstacles, and reach their full athletic potential. Paralympians are nothing short of remarkable. They continue to inspire individuals around the world to get out in the world and make their dreams come true. Dating back to 1948, and introducing their Winter Games in 1976, the Paralympics has grown into an international multi-sport event drawing huge audiences, featuring thousands of the world’s greatest athletes. Here are some of those great athletes.

1. Trischa Zorn

Trischa Zorn is the world’s most successful athlete to ever compete in the Paralympics. She represented the U.S and has won a total of 55 medals in swimming. 41 of them being gold. Trischa Zorn was born legally blind due to aniridia on June 1st, 1964. She began competing at Arnhem in 1980 and her last appearance was in Athens in 2004. Trischa remained legally blind until she received two artificial iris implants in 2003. This did not affect her classification for the Paralympics. Trischa Zorn was inducted into the Paralympic Hall of Fame in 2012. These days, Trischa works for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

2. Michael Edgson

Michael Edgson, born May 6th 1969, is visually impaired and competed in swimming during the 1984, 1988 and 1992 Paralympics. He represented Canada and won a total of 17 gold medals. Making him one of the most successful Paralympians of all time. Michael was awarded the BC Athlete of the Year on 3 occasions. He was the first Paralympian to receive Swimming Canada’s Circle of Excellence in 2009. He was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in 2015. Michael set multiple world records for swimming in the 100m backstroke, 100m butterfly, and 200m individual medley. He also holds a record for winning nine gold medals in the 1988 Paralympic Games. Michael retired and became the finance director of the Canadian Paralympic Committee. 

3. Maria Scutti

Maria Scutti, born in August 1928, was nicknamed the “Golden Woman” due to her accomplishments during her time as a Paralympic athlete. She competed in the 1960 Rome Summer Paralympics and won 15 medals, 10 of which were gold; the most to be received by any athlete in a single edition of the Paralympics Games. Maria is known for participating in swimming, wheelchair fencing, and para table tennis. She lost the use of her legs due to a vehicle accident in 1957. While in rehab, she developed a love and passion for sports and started challenging herself by competing in 1958. During her time in the Paralympics, Maria represented Italy until she retired in 1962. She passed away in 2005.

 

Maria_Scutti

4. Roberto Marson

Roberto Marson is an Italian multi-sport Paralympic athlete who competed in Paralympic athletics, swimming, wheelchair basketball, and wheelchair fencing. He was born on June 29th, 1944, and lost the use of his legs when a pine tree fell on his back. Roberto won a total of 26 medals, the most of any Paralympic athlete from Italy, 16 of which were gold. Roberto is one of the most decorated Paralympians from Italy. His first appearance in the Paralympics was at the 1964 Tokyo Paralympic Games. His final Paralympic games appearance was in 1976 at the Toronto games. Roberto died in 2011 and received a posthumous induction into the International Paralympic Hall of Fame.

5. Jacqueline Freney

Jacqueline Freney was born on June 6th, 1992, with cerebral palsy. She competed in Paralympic swimming, representing Australia. She made her international debut in 2006 and her first Paralympic appearance was at the Beijing Paralympic Games in 2008. At the 2012 London Paralympic Games, she broke the Australian record set by Siobhan Paton (won 6 gold medals) for the most gold won by winning a total of 8 gold medals. That was also the most won among all the other participants of the 2012 London Paralympic Games. She has won a total of 11 medals. Her involvement in the community and working with Swimming Australia as a motivational speaker for disabled individuals earned her the Young Australian of the Year Award in 2014. She was unfortunately forced to miss the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Paralympic Games due to an ongoing illness. 

6. Ragnhild Myklebust

Ragnhild Myklebust, born on December 13th 1943, suffered from Polio from the age of 2. She holds the record for most medals won at the Winter Paralympics. She has won a total of 27 medals, 22 of them being gold. This achievement has earned her the title of Queen of the Winter Paralympics. She represents Norway and is a Nordic skier taking part in cross-country, ice sledge, biathlon, and relay races of short, medium, and long distances. Ragnhild competed at the 1988 Innsbruck, 1992 Albertville, 1994 Lillehammer, 1998 Nagano and 2002 Salt Lake Winter Paralympic Games.

7. Beatrice Hess

Born on November 10th, 1961, and affected by cerebral palsy, Beatrice Hess is known as one of the best swimmers in the world. She has won 25 medals, 20 of them being gold, while representing France at the Paralympics. She has competed in the 1984 New York, 1988 Seoul, 1996 Atlanta, 2000 Sydney and 2004 Athens Summer Paralympic Games. During the 2000 Sydney Paralympics, Beatrice broke 9 world records.

Beatrice Hess

8. Reinhild Möller

Reinhild Möller has won 23 medals, 19 of them being gold, during her time as an athlete in the Paralympics. She’s the only alpine skier that has ever won 19 gold medals. Reinhild was born on February 24th, 1956, and lost half of her left leg in an accident when she was 3 years old. She went on to compete as an alpine ski racer representing Germany and competes in Athletics as well. She competed at the 1980 Geilo, 1984 Stoke Mandeville & New York, 1984 Innsbruck, 1988 Innsbruck, 1988 Seoul, 1992 Albertville, 1994 Lillehammer, 1998 Nagano and 2006 Torino Paralympic Winter Games.

9. Sarah Storey

Sarah Storey, born on October 26th, 1977, was born with her umbilical cord wrapped around her left arm causing her left hand to be non-functional. She is British and competes in cycling and swimming at the Paralympic games. Sarah is still active and has competed in the 1992 Barcelona, 1996 Atlanta, 2000 Sydney, 2004 Athens, 2008 Beijing, 2012 London, 2016 Rio, and 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games. She has won a total of 28 Paralympic medals, 17 of them being gold medals. Sarah began her career as a Paralympian in swimming, competing in swimming events, and winning 5 gold medals. She quit swimming in 2005 due to a persistent ear infection caused by chronic fatigue syndrome.

10. Jonas Jacobsson

Born on June 22nd, 1965, with disabled lower limbs, Jonas Jacobsson is a Paralympic sports shooter. He is the most successful shooter in the history of the Paralympic Games. Representing Sweden, Jonas uses a wheelchair and has won 30 medals, 17 of them being gold. He is among the most decorated Paralympians. He participated in 10 consecutive Summer Paralympic Games between 1980 and 2016; 1980 Arnhem, 1984 Stoke Mandeville & New York, 1988 Seoul, 1992 Barcelona, 1996 Atlanta, 2000 Sydney, 2004 Athens, 2008 Beijing, 2012 London, and 2016 Rio. Jonas retired following his appearance at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games. He was also on Sweden’s Paralympic wheelchair basketball team during the 1988 Seoul Games and played in the Swedish league in 2017.

Final Words

These Paralympians and thousands of others worldwide did not let their disabilities get in the way of achieving their athletic goals. In some cases, their disabilities inspired them to be the greatest athletes they can be. These amazing Paralympians continue to inspire people every day. Showing the world that with motivation and determination, you too can make your dreams come true. 

How Can I Transport a Wheelchair?

How Can I Transport a Wheelchair?

As a current or future wheelchair user, you may be asking yourself, “How can I transport a wheelchair?”. The ability to travel with your wheelchair and take it with you everywhere you go can help you regain your mobile independence. In this article, we are going to go through a number of ways that you can transport a wheelchair, so you can make an informed decision on what will work best for your needs, budget, and lifestyle.

Foldable Wheelchair

Folding wheelchairs come in at number one on our list of ways that you can transport a wheelchair. This is because, without a doubt, it is the easiest and most affordable for wheelchair users. Here at EasyGo Mobility, we provide foldable electric wheelchairs that fold in 3 easy steps, so you don’t have to fidget with disassembling pieces. With the ability to fold into a compact size, you will still be able to use your trunk for shopping bags. Additionally, our folding wheelchairs are more affordable than any other option mentioned on this list, not to mention we offer various financing options.

Disassembling Wheelchair

The second most popular way to transport a wheelchair is by using a disassembling wheelchair. As the name implies, this type of wheelchair can break down into multiple parts. This makes them more manageable to lift up and put into the trunk of your vehicle. Keep in mind that disassembling may be difficult for some people who have limited mobility or arthritis in their fingers, wrists, and/or arms. Additionally, if you have a hard time bending over, disassembling wheelchairs could be difficult to manage if you plan on using it fairly regularly. If you want to read a comparison on foldable vs disassembling wheelchairs, check out this article.

Platform Lift

A platform lift, like the Bruno Joey Platform Lift shown below, is able to lift up your wheelchair or scooter from the ground and into your vehicle. A platform lift is very convenient as you can drive your wheelchair right onto the platform. They have a 350-pound weight capacity, so most scooters and wheelchairs under this weight are compatible. Then, use the remote to automatically raise the lift, and bring it safely into your vehicle. This can be a good option for those that have difficulties bending over. But, as you can see, this lift requires a large SUV or van in order to accommodate. Additionally, you lose out on storage in your trunk as it takes up a lot of space. Keep in mind that platform lifts can be on the more expensive side.

Hitch Lift

Hitch lifts, like the Bruno Out-Sider seen below, can carry wheelchairs or scooters on the outside of your vehicle. This can be helpful if your vehicle has a towing ability, but not enough space for a platform lift. Additionally, you will still have access to your trunk for storage. Again, this type of lift can accommodate wheelchairs or scooters weighing 350 pounds or less. A hitch lift is generally more affordable than a platform lift as it is easier to install and has fewer mechanics, but is still fairly expensive.

Wheelchair Accessible Van

Of course, a wheelchair-accessible van is always an option if you are looking to transport a wheelchair. These types of vans are converted specifically for wheelchair users. They offer either rear ramps or side door ramps to help the wheelchair user drive right into the van. This is a great option if you have assistance with you when you are looking to use it. Wheelchair-accessible vans can be upwards of a hundred thousand dollars, so keep this in mind if you are considering it. Some may be able to get insurance coverage or grants from charities.

Accessible Taxi Services

Most taxi companies in your area will have a handful of wheelchair-accessible vehicles. But, they can be difficult to book from time to time and you typically have to book at least a few hours in advance, if not more. Recently Uber has come out with UberWAV, which can accommodate electric wheelchair users who do not use foldable electric wheelchairs. Simply download the Uber app to your phone, and choose the option UberWAV when you are selecting which type of ride want. UberWAV is not available everywhere and still may require pre-booking due to how new it is. But, it is a step in the right direction for taxi companies to become more accessible.

Portable Wheelchair Ramp

Portable wheelchair ramps can be a good option for those with a heavy wheelchair that does not disassemble. A lot of smaller wheelchairs can fit in the back of an SUV or van with the seats down. If you have the space, a ramp might be a good option for you. Ramps are definitely one of the more affordable options on this list, but require a decent amount of strength and stability to roll your wheelchair up the ramp and into your vehicle.

Public Transportation

One of the less-fun options on this list is public transportation. Public transportation, like city buses, can accommodate most sizes of wheelchairs. Every city will have different size requirements for wheelchairs and other mobility equipment, so if you’re unsure, it’s best to reach out to your area’s transportation office. Public transportation is the most affordable option on this list, but it comes with its cons. Bad weather, a full bus, indirect routes, and unfriendly passengers can all make public transportation a less-than-ideal option.

Roof Chair Topper

I left this option for last, as it’s not a super popular way to transport a wheelchair. But, it’s still good to mention it because it might be convenient for you. One of the most popular versions of the roof chair topper is by BraunAbility, seen below. This specific chair topper is essentially a capsule that sits on the top of your vehicle. Then, it is able to lift the wheelchair up, and then turn it horizontally so it sits inside of the capsule while you are driving. Not every roof chair topper is this fancy, you can find some that are more manual, which will be more affordable. Keep in mind that this might not work on all vehicles, and will add weight and height to your vehicle as well.

Practice Makes Perfect

The first time that you load up your wheelchair, no matter how you do it, it will be difficult. Every way that you can transport a wheelchair will have a learning curve. But, the more times you do it, the easier it will be. You will get faster and more comfortable transporting your wheelchair in no time. 

Closing Statements

There are a number of ways that you are able to transport a wheelchair. Hopefully, in the future, there will be even more as accessibility options become more available. If you are between a few different options, try to make a chart and weigh out the pros and cons of each option. This can make it easier to visualize how you will transport a wheelchair on a regular basis. If you have any questions about EasyGo Mobility’s foldable power chairs, don’t hesitate to reach out.

What is the Best Mobility Equipment to Keep Your Independence?

What is the Best Mobility Equipment to Keep Your Independence?

As we age, our families may begin to worry about how safe and independent we are. Fortunately, with the help of mobility equipment, you are able to enjoy your mobile freedom while limiting the chances of getting hurt or overdoing it. But, with all of the mobility equipment options there are on the market, it can be difficult to know which one is best for you or your loved one. In this article, we are going to discuss a range of mobility equipment so you know all of your options, so keep reading!

Foldable Electric Wheelchair

Coming in at number one on our list of the best mobility equipment is foldable electric wheelchairs, like the EasyGo Elite Model. EasyGo Folding Wheelchairs are the perfect everyday wheelchair that can help you get out of the house and enjoy the outdoors with your loved ones. Folding in under 30 seconds to be the size of a suitcase allows you to put the wheelchair in the back of your car, store it in tight spaces, or even travel with it. With our lithium-ion batteries, you can even take this wheelchair on a plane with you. EasyGo Mobility aims to provide affordable and high-quality mobility solutions to those in need. We offer free shipping across the United States. 

Walker or Rollator

Walkers and rollators are some of the most popular mobility equipment on the market. The difference between the two is that a rollator has wheels on all four wheels to help you get moving. On the other hand, a walker will have either no wheels or two wheels on just the front legs. Rollators can be a little trickier to handle due to the four wheels. If you are prone to falling or slipping, a walker might be better suited for your needs. There are a ton of great brands out there that sell walkers and rollators. But, we generally recommend staying away from sites like AliExpress as their vendors are not quality-checked. Good quality walkers and rollators can cost you anywhere from $250 to upwards of $800.

Stair Lift

If you currently struggle going up and down your stairs, a stair lift may be the perfect investment for your mobile independence. Stair lifts can be installed on straight, curved, or even outdoor stairs. Stair lifts can also be a great aid if your laundry room is downstairs, and you worry about carrying the basket back upstairs. Securely place the basket on the seat, and use the remote control to guide the lift up the stairs. Bruno is a leading stair lift manufacturer, and its products are manufactured in the US. Keep in mind that stair lifts can often cost a few thousand dollars for a straight staircase.

Home Ramp

If you are a wheelchair or walker user, or you just need a little extra assistance getting into your home, a ramp may be a good option to make your home a little safer. These days wooden and alumnium ramps can be very sleek and stylish, so you don’t necessarily have to worry about the ramp being an eyesore in front of your house. As you probably guessed, ramps can be pretty pricey depending on how long they have to be in order to accommodate your door height.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires a 1:12 slope ratio for commercial ramps. This means that for every 1 inch of rise, 12 inches of the ramp is required. This is important to keep in mind if you have a large distance between the ground and your door, but little room to work with. In this scenario, an outdoor stair lift might be a better option. 

Walking Cane

Canes are another very popular option for those in need of mobility assistance. Canes typically come with one foot or a quad foot for added stability. They are typically very lightweight and easy to take with you everywhere you go. You can even find canes that are collapsable so they can easily fit in your purse or bag while you are out for dinner. Not to mention that canes now come in a variety of colors and styles, including fun prints like cheetah spots! Canes also come in a variety of heights, so you can choose the most comfortable height based on your needs.

Lift Chair

Relaxing on the couch and enjoying your favorite book or tv show is an important part of your day. But, it can put a damper on your downtime if you struggle to get back up. This is where a lift chair comes in! With the press of a button, your lift chair can go from a reclined position to an upright position. In this position, your feet are practically on the ground already. Most new lift chairs also come with a cup holder, massage features, and even a heated backrest. Drive Devilbiss is one of the leading lift chair distributors in North America.

Home Care Hospital Bed

As the name implies, a home care hospital bed is simply a hospital bed that is fit for your home. Home care hospital beds can be fully electric, semi-electric, or completely manual. These beds offer adjustments that can help raise your upper body or knees up. Home care hospital beds can be very helpful if you have a difficult time sitting up in bed. 

Grab Bar(s)

Grab bars are typically in a bathroom. But, they can be installed almost anywhere depending on the wall it is going to be mounted on. They are an affordable solution if you need a little help getting in and out of the shower or sitting down or getting up off of the toilet. Grab bars come in a variety of lengths, styles, and colors. So, you can fit them almost anywhere you need them. The best and most reliable type of grab bar is the type that is screwed into the wall as it is the most stable. But, there are also suction-style grab bars that can suction to showers and other surfaces for a less-permanent solution. Keep in mind that the suction bars can fall off if too much force is applied or it is not properly stuck on.

Shower Aids

Shower aids include seats, slip-resistant mats, and shower heads that detach. Typically shower seats and detachable shower heads go hand-in-hand. This is because it can be difficult to get a good clean while sitting down. These can be very helpful if you have a difficult time standing for a long period of time or if you are worried about slips and falls. There are a ton of different shower seats, including small stools or large seats equipped with handles. Slip-resistant mats are a great solution for people of all ages, because we all know how slippery the bottom of the tub can get.

Wrap Up

There are a number of different mobility equipment options for yourself or your loved one. Not every piece of equipment will be the best solution for your lifestyle, so it’s important to learn what all of the options are. Additionally, the more pieces of mobility equipment that you have, the easier and safer your life may be, but we all know that these costs can add up. If you have any questions about EasyGo Mobility and how you can use our foldable electric wheelchairs to make your life easier, don’t hesitate to reach out. 

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