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male Para snowboarder Maxime Montaggioni

Maxime Montaggioni

Snowboard

Maxime Montaggioni was a hot favourite for Paralympic gold but his dreams were crushed when he got injured during training at PyeongChang 2018. But he seems to have put that disappointment behind him with an outstanding return to competition during the 2018-19 season.

Montaggioni has made a statement return to the sport since his PyeongChang 2018 accident by sweeping both snowboard-cross races at the 2019 World Cup in Big White, Canada. He went three for four at the next World Cup in La Molina, Spain; also taking top honours in banked slalom.

The Frenchman caused a shock at the 2017 World Championships when he upset USA’s gold-medal favourite Mike Minor in banked slalom. He then went head-to-head with Minor for the boarder-cross title but came up short.

The following season was Montaggioni’s strongest as he came away with the overall World Cup crystal globe in the men’s SB-UL category that set him up for success in PyeongChang. But it was not meant to be.

Montaggioni was born without his right hand and remembered being teased by other kids. It was when he was around 14 years old that he realised he had to live with his impairment. He picked up taekwondo a few years ago and fell in love with snowboard-cross because of the adrenaline rush, and he stuck with the sport.

Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Limb deficiency
Origin of Impairment
Congenital
Classification
SB-UL

Further personal information

Residence
Nice, FRA
Occupation
Armed Forces Athlete
Languages
English, French
Higher education
Commerce - EDHEC Business School: Nice, FRA

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He took up the sport in 1998.
Why this sport?
He became aware of competitive Para snowboard after meeting the French national coach while snowboarding at Isola 2000 in France. "I was doing it just for fun, I had no idea that a competitive Para snowboarding discipline existed."
Club / Team
Anices Handisport [FRA] / Armee des Champions [FRA]:
Name of coach
Yannis Dole [national], FRA

International debut

Year
2014
Competing for
France
Location
Landgraaf, NED

General interest

Hobbies
Motorbiking. (Instagram profile, 17 Aug 2020)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning gold in the men's SB-UL banked slalom at the 2017 World Championships in Big White, BC, Canada. (Athlete, 07 Mar 2018)
Most influential person in career
His taekwondo coach Michael Melou. (Athlete, 07 Mar 2018)
Hero / Idol
French snowboarder Pierre Vaultier. (Athlete, 07 Mar 2018)
Injuries
A ligament injury to his right knee prevented him competing at the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang. He sustained the initial injury after falling at a competition in Andorra, and then aggravated it during his first training session in Pyeongchang. He underwent surgery in April 2018, and returned to the slopes in December 2018. (Facebook page, 13 Dec 2018, 19 Apr 2018; france3-regions.francetvinfo.fr, 12 Mar 2018)

In 2016 he sustained a back injury while in San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina. (enroutepourrio.eu, 29 Nov 2016)
Awards and honours
He was named Athlete with an Impairment of the Year in Nice, France, for 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2019 at the Victoires du Sport awards. (20minutes.fr, 23 Feb 2016; nice-premium.com, 18 Feb 2016, 14 Feb 2020; nice.fr, 01 Mar 2019)
Other sports
He won a bronze medal in Para taekwondo at the 2013 World Championships in Lausanne, Switzerland. (20minutes.fr, 09 Mar 2016; SportsDeskOnline, 08 Jun 2013)
Ambitions
To compete at the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing. (france3-regions.francetvinfo.fr, 12 Mar 2018; Instagram profile, 01 Nov 2020)
Impairment
He was born without his right forearm. (20minutes.fr, 09 Mar 2016; nicematin.com, 10 Jun 2009)
Other information
DIFFERENT APPROACH
He said the disappointment of missing out on the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang because of injury made him change his approach to the sport. "I'm completely different. I'm less aggressive in my rides, I'm just thinking with my brain so I have strategy and I've got maturity. Now I'm safer in my choices and in my vision of the race. I got some distance and now I use my brain more than my muscles." (paralympic.org, 20 Mar 2019)

FURTHER EDUCATION
He studied communications and advertising at IDRAC Business School in Amiens, France, and organisational communication and human resources at the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis in France. (Athlete, 07 Mar 2018; LinkedIn profile, 11 Jul 2016)

Results

Unit Date Rank
2017 IPC Snowboard World Championships Big White, CAN (Big White, Canada)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Snowboard Cross SB-UL Race 1 2017-02-04 2
Men's Banked Slalom SB-UL Race 1 2017-02-07 1
Pyha 2019 World Para Snowboard Championships (Pyha, Finland)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Banked Slalom SB-UL Race 1 2019-03-27 1
Men's Snowboard Cross SB-UL Race 1 2019-03-30 1