Matti Suur-Hamari31 May 1986 Finland
- LATEST TRIUMPHS:
- 2017 World Para Snowboard Championships: Gold - Banked slalom and snowboard-cross men’s SB-LL2
- 2016-17 IPC Snowboard World Cup: Title winner - banked slalom men’s SB-LL2; Overall second - men’s SB-LL2; Overall third - snowboard-cross
- 2015-16 IPC Snowboard World Cup: Overall winner - men's SB-LL2
- 2015 IPC Snowboard World Championships: Gold - Snowboard-cross; Bronze - Banked slalom
- 2014-15 IPC Snowboard World Cup: Overall second - men's SB-LL2
Since beginning competitive snowboarding in 2012-13, Finland’s Matti Suur-Hamari has beaten some of the world’s best snowboarders to reach the top of the podium.
At the 2017 World Para Snowboard World Championships in Big White, Canada, Suur-Hamari retained his world title and added another gold in banked slalom.
It’s a long way from the humble 11th place finish he recorded at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.
A year later he pulled off a huge shock by beating US Paralympic champion Evan Strong to the snowboard-cross SB-LL2 gold medal at the 2015 World Championships in La Molina, Spain, having also finished ahead of him in the overall World Cup rankings. Suur-Hamari went on to add a bronze medal in banked slalom to his World Championships haul.
He won both World Cup disciplines in the 2015-16 season, ending again as the leader of the overall rankings ahead of USA’s Mike Shea and Strong. But in 2016-17 he finished second to Strong, showing that the competition is still alive and well in the men's SB-LL2.
It was Strong who inspired the flying Finn to take up Para snowboarding in the first place, having found some YouTube videos whilst recovering from a motorcycle accident in 2009 in which he lost his left leg below the knee.
Suur-Hamari is now the man to beat the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.
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