Simon Risberg, 20, is living a dream.
“I always wanted to ski in Alaska,” he said.
This year, Risberg is competing at the 2014 Arctic Man. In his event, skiers go straight down a mountain, get a lift by snowmachine up another mountain and then ski back down.
Risberg is doing it all without legs.
“I was born without muscles and skeleton parts in my lower limbs so I couldn’t move them,” Risberg said. “So when I was about 1 year old my mother decided to cut them off.”
At the starting line, Risberg said he was feeling nervous and excited. And he has reason to be: During the run, not everything goes as planned.
“Just as I pushed out it felt really good. I had control of my things. I went really fast. I got to the checkup point. I had no problem getting on the snowmobile. I was riding back for a while and we were taking it about 75 miles per hour,” he said. “Then I hit some kind of bump, and my ski like jumped up in the air, and I got into a carving and then I fell.”
Despite likely suffering a concussion, Risberg got back up and said he plans on coming back next year.
Arctic Man 2014 continues through the weekend.