Imagen
a male Para snowboarder

Mike Minor

Snowboard
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1

Mike Minor completed his set of prizes after winning gold in the men’s banked slalom SB-UL at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.

He had already owned World Championship and World Cup titles entering his Paralympic debut.

His victory in PyeongChang came in dramatic fashion. After crashing out and settling for bronze in snowboard-cross, Minor appeared like he would leave PyeongChang without a gold. But with his final banked slalom run, Minor gave the performance of his career to clock his class’ fastest time that left him in tears at the finish area.

Initially working as a lift attendant at Copper Mountain in the USA, Mike Minor was asked on the USA’s Adaptive Action Sports team a year later in 2014. He did not take long to jump in the rankings and make the US Paralympics national team for the 2015-16 season.

A stellar full season in 2016-17 led to the World Cup crystal globe for banked slalom, and he went undefeated until the 2017 World Championships.

In Big White, Canada, he lost the gold to France’s Maxime Montaggioni in the banked slalom. But other than that, he dominated the season to earn the overall World Cup crystal globe, and also take the world titles in banked slalom and snowboard-cross.

It was no question he would be a consistent podium face after winning his World Cup debut in the banked slalom in Landgraaf, Netherlands. He went on to win same event in Big White, Canada, and also showcased his snowboard-cross skills by winning the World Cup in March that season in Les Angles, France.

Born missing a right forearm, Minor wore a prosthetic until he was five years old. He started skiing at the age of two, and four and a half years later he discovered snowboard.

Biography

Impairment information

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

Further personal information

Family
Partner Virpi Jumisko
Occupation
Athlete
Languages
English

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He began skiing at age two. He took up snowboard at age seven in Pennsylvania, United States of America, after seeing other people snowboarding.
Why this sport?
While working as a lift operator at Copper Mountain in Colorado, United States of America, he met members of Adaptive Action Sports who encouraged him to pursue professional Para snowboard. "Snowboarding chose me. I don't just like it, I love it. Snowboarding is a part of me, it's who I am."
Club / Team
Adaptive Action Sports: Copper Mountain, CO, USA
Name of coach
Daniel Gale [club], USA; Mike Jennings [national], USA; Chris Clark [personal], USA

International debut

Year
2015
Competing for
United States
Tournament
World Cup
Location
Landgraaf, NED

General interest

Nicknames
Squirrel [given to him by coach Pat Holland because of his energy and attention span], Bowl Troll, Schmiegel [both given to him by US Para snowboarder Evan Strong]. (Athlete, 04 Mar 2022)
Hobbies
Travelling, skateboarding, music. (Athlete, 04 Mar 2022)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning gold in banked slalom at the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang. "I was able to shave off almost three seconds, which in racing is an eternity." (Athlete, 04 Mar 2022)
Most influential person in career
His family. (Athlete, 04 Mar 2022)
Hero / Idol
US Para snowboarder Andrew Hale. (Athlete, 04 Oct 2016)
Injuries
In early 2020 he sustained an ankle injury while filming a skateboard video in Barcelona, Spain. (summitdaily.com, 11 Jul 2020)

In 2019 he sustained a fractured skull skateboarding at a skate park in Frisco, CO, United States of America. (summitdaily.com, 11 Jul 2020)

A knee injury prevented him from competing at the 2016 Winter X Games in Aspen, CO, United States of America. (teamusa.org, 29 Jan 2016)
Superstitions / Rituals / Beliefs
"I like to listen to my favourite music before riding." (Athlete, 04 Mar 2022)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Don't get lost in the zoo. The world is a crazy place and it's easy to get caught up in everything. My belief is to not lose sight of your true purpose." (Athlete, 04 Mar 2022)
Other sports
He won bronze in Para skateboard at the 2019 X Games in Minneapolis, MN, United States of America. (Athlete, 04 Mar 2022; summitdaily.com, 11 Jul 2020; bleacherreport.com, 05 Aug 2019)
Ambitions
To compete at the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing. (LinkedIn profile, 06 Dec 2021)
Impairment
He was born missing his right forearm. He wore a prosthetic forearm and hand until he was age five, but then began to see it as a hindrance and stopped using it. (wnep.com, 02 Jun 2017; xgames.espn.com, 2016)
Other information
ONE MAN AND HIS DOG
He travels the world with his dog 'Dinky', who often accompanies him on the podium. "My dog 'Dinky' is a rescue from Leadville, Colorado [United States of America], who travels the globe with me. We are best friends and there's rarely a time you will see us apart from one another." (paralympic.org, 13 Dec 2021)

OTHER ACTIVITIES
In 2020 he began working as a terrain park supervisor at Elk Mountains in Colorado, United States of America. "I will be designing and building their parks for the season in between my training." (Instagram profile, 19 Oct 2020)

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 1
Men's Banked Slalom SB-UL Race 1 2017-02-07 2
Pyeongchang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games (Pyeongchang, South Korea)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Snowboard Cross SB-UL Final 2018-03-12 3
Men's Banked Slalom SB-UL Final 2018-03-16 1