Click the Video icon to the left to see these amazing athletes and their high-performance sports prosthetics in action
Today´s most driven disabled athletes are revolutionizing prosthetics by turning their limbs into sport-specific power tools. From hands shaped like ice axes to blade runners for feet, these prostheses are smarter, lighter, stronger and sexier than ever before. And talk about extreme athletes-the men and women using them have overcome enormous physical challenges to climb the world´s tallest mountains, cross finish lines with record speeds, and change the world´s perception of what´s possible.
After having both legs amputated at mid-thigh, Warren Macdonald knew he would have to invent a way to continue mountain climbing. With the mere six inches of natural femur he had left on each leg, it was impossible for him to effectively maneuver full-length prosthetic legs up rock faces. So he and Hanger Prosthetics designed miniature, carbon-fiber climbing legs to purposely keep his center of gravity low, thus making it possible to power the prostheses around technical maneuvers. The legs are spring-loaded, with three settings for shock-absorption to withstand jolts. The team also designed coordinating, one-of-a-kind climbing feet that consist of cut-down Vibram boot soles with a rotator, so Macdonald can place the rubber-coated feet into small crags and footholds. Standing only 4 feet 4 on his climbing legs, Macdonald is the first double-leg amputee to summit Africa´s tallest peak, 19,563-foot Kilimanjaro, and scale the longest vertical rock face in the U.S., Yosemite´s El Capitan. Next, Macdonald plans to climb Mount Kenya, knocking off Africa´s second highest mountain. (partanimal.com)