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41612-Brett Botelho photo

Brett Botelho

Snowboard

Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Limb deficiency
Origin of Impairment
Acquired
Classification
SB-LL1

Further personal information

Residence
United States
Occupation
Athlete, Author, Motivational Speaker
Languages
English

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
While recovering from his left leg amputation, he read US Para snowboarder Amy Purdy's book. He reached out to her company, Adaptive Action Sports [AAS], which provides training for aspiring Paralympians and snowboarding programmes for people living with physical impairments, and was invited to visit them in Summit County, CO, United States of America.
Why this sport?
His brother was a keen snowboarder. "I was drawn to the sport. Every time my brother would come home, we would talk about snowboarding. We'd watch videos, play snowboarding video games. I always had it in the back of my head that one day, I was going to be able to snowboard with him."
Club / Team
Adaptive Action Sports: Copper Mountain, CO, USA

General interest

Hobbies
Watching baseball. (Twitter profile, 21 Mar 2020)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Now is the time to live and take advantage of every moment. I don't know if I'm going to be healthy in a week or a month, but I know I feel good today, so that's why I'm in the gym or on the mountain. I'm going to take advantage of the moment when I can. I have an opportunity to do this, to enjoy my life and live it to the fullest. Do I want to wait until it seems more realistic, or do I just want to do it now and figure things out later? I want to do what gives me purpose rather than just sitting here and waiting for something to go wrong." (24life.com, 01 Oct 2017)
Ambitions
To compete at the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing. (cedars-sinai.org, 01 Jan 2018)
Impairment
At age nine he was diagnosed with a chronic auto-immune disorder that causes his immune system to attack his nervous system. He was paralysed from the neck down for two years, and underwent numerous operations on his hips, legs and ankles as a child. In 2014, his left leg was amputated below the knee. After surgery on his right leg in May 2020 he injured his right knee on his first day back on the snow, and in December that year he had his right leg amputated above the knee. (paralympic.org, 24 Sep 2021; Facebook profile, 03 Feb 2021; 24life.com, 01 Oct 2017)
Other information
SECOND AMPUTATION
He says that after his right leg was amputated in December 2020, it was initially challenging to adapt when he returned to the snow four months later. "[Before] on my right leg, even though I wore the brace, I still had my knee, I still had my foot. Now it's all mechanical, so I have to work from my knee up and use my quads and hamstrings, hips and glutes." (paralympic.org, 24 Sep 2021)

AUTOBIOGRAPHY
He released his autobiography 'Standing My Own Ground: Getting Back Up When It Seems Impossible' in October 2017. "Through my whole life people would just tell me, 'You should write a book, you've been through so much'. Something pretty big happened this past April [2017] and I thought, 'I've got to get it out', but this time I'm serious. I was originally going to work with someone and have them ghost write it, but I was like, 'If I'm going to do it, I'm going to do it right'. It was never for me. It was the people around me that allowed me to share my story with other people. I always told myself if I get rich off the book, awesome, but that's not my purpose. The purpose of the book is to inspire one person and help one person, and if it does then the book has done everything that I hoped it would." (summitdaily.com, 23 Sep 2019; East Idaho News YouTube channel, 04 Mar 2018)