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INTERNATIONAL PARALYMPIC COMMITTEE
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a male Para snowboarder

Evan Strong

Alpine Skiing
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Evan Strong grew up in Maui, Hawaii, where the only ice is shaved and served in cones or pina coladas, and winter sports are surfing, skateboarding and swimming.

It is hard to believe that the former Hawaiian kid is now a snowboarding demon, a guy who is getting impatient for winter storms to start dumping fresh powder all over the Sierra Nevada and Rockies.

With the rising competition, Strong had to be at his best to land silver in the men’s banked slalom SB-LL2 at his second Paralympic Games in PyeongChang.

Strong has a history of success in his sporting pursuits and his record in snowboard-cross is no different. He is the 2012 world champion and a serial World Cup gold medallist.

At the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, Strong stormed to a historic gold medal on the slopes of Rosa Khutor, bagging the first ever Paralympic title on the sport's debut at a Games.

But in 2014-15, he finished sixth in the final 2014-15 IPC Para Snowboard World Cup standings. He also lost out on gold to Finland’s Matti Suur-Hamari in the men’s snowboard-cross SB-LL2 at the World Championships in La Molina, Spain, and to teammate Mike Shea in the banked slalom.

In 2015-16, Strong was again slower than his two main rivals, ending third in both the snowboard-cross and the banked slalom World Cups.

The 2016-17 season offered him redemption after a below-par 2015-16. Strong won the men's snowboard-cross SB-LL2 World Cup - the first crystal globe of his career - and topped the overall rankings.

At age 17, Evans was hit by a vehicle while riding a motorcycle and had to have his left leg amputated. Having never snowboarded, Strong immediately took to the sport and has not looked back since. A beneficiary of US teammate Amy Purdy’s Adaptive Action Sports programme, Strong is a true success story on the snow and away from it, where he cycles, continues to skateboard and owns an organic restaurant with his wife. He also has a daughter, Indie.

Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Limb deficiency
Origin of Impairment
Acquired
Classification
SB-LL2

Further personal information

Family
Wife Mariah, daughter Indie [2015]
Residence
Haiku, HI, USA
Occupation
Athlete
Languages
English

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He began snowboarding at age 19.
Why this sport?
"When I was hit, I was living in Maui [in Hawaii, United States of America] so my recovery was there. One day I came across a snowboarding magazine and saw people riding down snow-covered mountains and was just so inspired. It was two years after my accident and after seeing that, I told my family I have to learn to snowboard. Second chance at life, and I have to do this because board sports were my passion. So I packed up, moved to Lake Tahoe in California and found a job at Northstar Ski Resort. Just immersed myself in the ski culture and shortly after that I got introduced to snowboard competition. It was one of the greatest rushes of my life."
Training Regime
"I train throughout the entire day. I start with yoga, then weightlifting, then in the afternoon I do a sport or outdoor activity [skateboarding, surfing or snowboarding]."

General interest

Hobbies
Skateboarding, surfing, cycling, downhill mountain bike racing. (Facebook page, 16 Dec 2018)
Most influential person in career
His family, and Adaptive Action Sports founders Amy Purdy and Daniel Gale. (teamusa.org, 07 Mar 2018)
Hero / Idol
US Para skateboarder Jon Comer. (teamusa.org, 07 Mar 2018)
Injuries
In 2010 he broke five ribs, had a stage three ruptured spleen, and suffered numerous abrasions while downhill mountain biking at the Northstar Resort in California, United States of America. (strongevan.com, 17 May 2013)
Superstitions / Rituals / Beliefs
His mother reads him his astrology stars before a race. (nbcolympics.com, 26 Dec 2017)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Mind over matter, but soul over all." (Facebook profile, 08 Feb 2018)
Awards and honours
He was named Male Athlete of the Month for March 2014 by the United States Olympic Committee [USOC]. (teamusa.org, 04 Apr 2014)
Ambitions
To compete at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing. (nytimes.com, 20 Mar 2018)
Impairment
At age 17 he borrowed his older sister Stephanie's motorcycle after he missed his lift to work. A mile from his home, a drunk driver travelling at 65mph crossed over into oncoming traffic, striking the car in front and then hitting him head-on at full speed. His left leg was amputated three days after the accident. (teamusa.org, 01 Mar 2014; strongevan.com, 01 Jan 2014)
Other information
ABLE-BODIED PUSH
In 2017 he won an able-bodied snowboard competition in Colorado, United States of America. Ahead of the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, where he went on to win a silver medal in banked slalom, he revealed that he hoped to compete in able-bodied snowboarding at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing. "It's all in the works. After this Games [in 2018 in Pyeongchang] I'm going to focus full-time on able-bodied racing and step away from adaptive racing for a couple years. Being able to win an able-bodied national title in snowboard cross as someone with a prosthetic leg, it's almost as euphoric as winning a gold medal at the Games in Sochi [2014 Paralympic Winter Games]." (nytimes.com, 20 Mar 2018)

Results

Unit Date Rank
Paralympic Winter Games 2014 (Sochi, Russia)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Para Snowboard Cross Standing Final Round 2014-03-14 1
2015 IPCAS Para Snowboard World Championships La Molina (La Molina, Spain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Snowboard Cross SB-LL2 Race 1 2015-02-24 2
Men's Banked Slalom SB-LL2 Race 1 2015-02-28 2
2017 IPC Snowboard World Championships Big White, CAN (Big White, Canada)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Snowboard Cross SB-LL2 Race 1 2017-02-04 2
Men's Banked Slalom SB-LL2 Race 1 2017-02-07 4
Pyeongchang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games (Pyeongchang, South Korea)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Snowboard Cross SB-LL2 Final 2018-03-12 4
Men's Banked Slalom SB-LL2 Final 2018-03-16 2