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24079-Mihaita Papara photo

Mihaita Papara

Snowboard

Biography

Impairment information

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

Further personal information

Family
Two children
Languages
English, French, Hungarian, Italian, Romanian

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He began snowboarding in 2001 in Azuga, Romania. After his accident he took up Para snowboarding in December 2007 in Bucin, Romania.
Why this sport?
Having favoured skiing prior to his accident, he decided to pursue Para snowboarding as it was a more comfortable option with a prosthetic leg. "After my accident I was seeking information about people who had gone through similar experiences and had recovered. I found an old photo on the internet, from the 1950s, of the cover of a French magazine depicting four skiers coming down the slope at high speed. All four were amputated above the knee, just like me. This picture helped me a lot as I thought if it was possible with the technology more than half a century ago, I could recover and do winter sports."
Name of coach
Dan Marcu [personal], ROU; Cristian Piciorea, ROU

International debut

Year
2014
Competing for
Romania
Tournament
European Cup
Location
Landgraaf, NED

General interest

Most influential person in career
Gheorghe Tofan, an amputee athlete from his hometown of Harghita, Romania, and Romanian Para alpine skier Laura Valeanu. (Athlete, 06 Mar 2018; noizz.ro, 06 Jun 2017)
Hero / Idol
Romanian Para alpine skier Laura Valeanu, British Para snowboarder Darren Swift. (Athlete, 06 Mar 2018; jurnalul.antena3.ro, 29 Nov 2018)
Injuries
He sustained an injury to his right shoulder after crashing during a race in Finland in 2019. (Instagram profile, 28 Mar 2019)

In 2013 he underwent a hernia operation, which was a consequence of his accident in 2005. (redbull.com, 25 May 2016)
Awards and honours
He was flag bearer for Romania at both the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang. (paralympic.org, 18 Mar 2018; pyeongchang2018.com, 09 Mar 2018)
Milestones
He became the first male athlete to represent Romania at the Paralympic Winter Games when he competed in Para snowboard at the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang. (SportsDeskOnline, 07 Jan 2021)
Ambitions
To compete at the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing. (redbull.com, 25 May 2016)
Impairment
In September 2005 he was involved in a car accident, which resulted in the amputation of his left leg above the knee. (Athlete, 06 Mar 2018; asocpm.ro, 01 Jul 2012)
Other information
OTHER ACTIVITIES
In 2007 he and his parents founded the Mihaita Papara Association, a non-profit organisation that aims to help people with a physical impairment. He is also a motivational speaker who has taken part in the 'TEDx Talks' and 'Urban Talks' projects, where he speaks about his life and sporting career. (jurnalul.antena3.ro, 29 Nov 2018; tedxcaleadomneasca.ro, 01 Sep 2018; urban-talks.com, 23 Nov 2017; asocpm.ro, 01 Jul 2012)

FURTHER EDUCATION
He has a master's degree in private international law from Alexandru Ioan Cuza University in Iasi, Romania. (Athlete, 06 Mar 2018; LinkedIn profile, 01 Oct 2013)

Results

Unit Date Rank
2015 IPCAS Para Snowboard World Championships La Molina (La Molina, Spain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Banked Slalom SB-LL1 Race 1 2015-02-28 8
Pyeongchang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games (Pyeongchang, South Korea)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Snowboard Cross SB-LL1 Final 2018-03-12 11
Men's Banked Slalom SB-LL1 Final 2018-03-16 11
Pyha 2019 World Para Snowboard Championships (Pyha, Finland)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Banked Slalom SB-LL1 Race 1 2019-03-27 11