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.
Further personal information
Sport specific information
In December 2021 he spoke about returning to full-time Para snowboard training and competition after competing infrequently in the years following the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang. "I always knew that I wanted to come back and continue racing in Para snowboarding, but I just wanted to focus my time, spend it with my family. Finding out that my wife was pregnant with our second child, I knew that I didn't want to miss as much as I did with my first kid. I wanted to really be present and not miss so much as I did with my first kid. But now that she's almost three and the Paralympic Games are coming up, it was time to come back." (paralympic.org, 09 Dec 2021)
EYES ON ITALY
He plans to compete at the 2026 Paralympic Winter Games in Italy. “I am 35 now [speaking in 2022] and feeling better than I ever have. So much of my sport has to do with strategy and once you find your competitive edge - and you put in a lot of your back work for strength and conditioning - once you find your competitive edge, if you stay healthy, you can compete in this for a long time. All of my [Paralympic Winter] Games I have been to thus far have all been in Asia, so it'd be cool to have a complementary, opposite experience. I will be 39 for those Games [in 2026 in Italy], but that doesn't phase me that much.” (mauinews.com, 25 Feb 2022)
He has competed in able-bodied snowboarding, and in 2022 he spoke about his passion to compete in the able-bodied World Cup circuit. “I still love racing in able-bodied boarder cross and I do it whenever I can. But unfortunately the last couple years I had to focus in on what I could accomplish, so unfortunately that's been on the backburner, but as long as I keep racing I will keep doing the able-bodied races because I want to race those able-bodied World Cup courses because that looks like such more my fit. It's always in the back of my mind, it's always been a goal of mine, so that's not going to change." (mauinews.com, 25 Feb 2022)
He lived in Maui, HI, United States of America from 1994 to 2006. He plans to return and settle there when he retires from competitive sport. “Maui's always going to be home in my heart. And I know once my snowboarding career is over, I know where I want to be. I dream pretty much nightly of being in the ocean, surfing on Maui.” (mauinews.com, 25 Feb 2022)
|Men's Para Snowboard Cross Standing||Final Round||2014-03-14||1|
|Men's Snowboard Cross SB-LL2||Race 1||2015-02-24||2|
|Men's Banked Slalom SB-LL2||Race 1||2015-02-28||2|
|Men's Snowboard Cross SB-LL2||Race 1||2017-02-04||2|
|Men's Banked Slalom SB-LL2||Race 1||2017-02-07||4|
|Men's Snowboard Cross SB-LL2||Final||2018-03-12||4|
|Men's Banked Slalom SB-LL2||Final||2018-03-16||2|