More than 500 athletes, sponsors, spectators, and volunteers from the US, Canada, and Europe converged on Orlando, Florida's Watersports Complex, Saturday, July 29, for the premiere O&P Extremity Games by College Park.
Organized to raise awareness of the ability of individuals with limb loss or limb difference to compete in extreme sports, and to highlight the state-of-the-art prosthetic devices available today, the O&P Extremity Games included four judged competitions in skateboarding, wakeboarding, BMX biking and rock climbing, for more than $25,000 in cash prizes.
As Eric Robinson, president of College Park Industries concluded the Opening Ceremony, Keith Requsa and Jay Humphries of the Pieces of Eight amputee sky diving team exited their plane and dived down to watch the games on the ground.
Preliminary rounds in rock climbing, wakeboarding, BMX biking and skateboarding were next, interspersed with a myriad of exhibitions including gymnastics (Cori Hendrix, Rochester, Michigan), martial arts (Ron Mann, Campbell, California), four wheeling (Regas Woods, Orlando, Florida), motorcycling (Chris Johnson, Mountain Park, Oklahoma), motocross (Jim Wazny, Merrill, Michigan) kayaking and river-racing (Juanita Wilson, Baltimore, Maryland, Keith Deutsch, Las Vegas, Nevada, Scott West, Branson, Missouri, Derrick Harden, Johannesburg, Michigan and Chris Boreland, Tampa, Florida, from the Wounded Warrior Project).
More than 50 athletes tackled the 24-foot rock-climbing wall. Jarem Frye (McMinnville, Oregon) took first place in the men's division, Tyler Byrom (Tulsa, Oklahoma) won second and Craig Demartino (Loveland, Colorado) was third. In the women's division Loi Ho (Newington, Connecticut) won first, Jessica Long (Baltimore, Maryland) was second and Shawna Culp (Wheaton, Illinois) was third. Frye's time beat Ho's gaining him an additional Overall Rock Climbing first place win for a total cash purse of $5,000.
In wakeboarding, Sean Reyngoudt (Summerland, Florida) snared first place and $5000 with his awesome performance. Logan Aldridge (Raleigh, North Carolina) came in second and Billy Tonis (Dublin, California) took third.
The BMX bikers duked it out in side-by-side runs through a harrowing course. Anthony Zukowski (Grand Rapids, Michigan) placed first, securing his $5000. Brandon Spears (Orlando, Florida) grabbed second place and Christopher Morgan (Mesa, Arizona) placed third.
With Jon Comer, professional skateboarder and below knee amputee, as one of the judges the skateboarders took on the U-shaped half pipe to demonstrate their prowess. Charles House (Merritt Island, Florida) took first and the $5000. Rob Nelson (Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina) came in second and Garry Moore (Birdsboro, Pennsylvania) was third.
"The event surpassed our expectations. The athletes were amazing and, definitely, defied any preconceived conceptions of their abilities," commented Eric Robinson. "I'd like to thank everyone, the athletes, sponsors, volunteers and spectators, who helped to make the inaugural O&P Extremity Games by College Park a huge success. We plan to add more competitions and look forward to an even more exciting and inspiring event next year."
For complete results visit www.extremitygames.com/pdf/officialeventresults.pdf
For video highlights of The O&P Extremity Games visit www.college-park.com.