“My first hero isn’t any one person, it’s all of the men, women and children out there with disabilities that refuse to give up and live their lives to the fullest."
A bronze medallist from Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, US snowboarder Keith Gabel is already focused on the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.
Last February he finished on the podium in snowboard-cross at the IPC Snowboard World Cup in Aspen, USA and second in Big White Canada.
Gabel is now looking forward to the next races in Les Angles, France, between 8-10 March and the World Cup Finals in Trentino, Italy, between 17-18 March.
Here he explains his three heroes and why.
1. Inspiring individuals
“My first hero isn’t any one person, it’s all of the men, women and children out there with disabilities that refuse to give up and live their lives to the fullest. To me that is the true definition of a hero. They inspire me every day to do my best and give it my all. It is for them that I do what I do.”
2. Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt (former President of the USA)
“He was an honourable man who overcame a debilitating asthma illness. He had a true “cowboy” persona who never seemed to take no as an answer. He was an outdoor enthusiast who worked tirelessly to conserve US natural resources. He established the United States Forest Service which is still in effect today. He always promoted selflessness, compassion, honesty, honour.
“In my opinion, he is the epitome of a true “man’s man” and I feel that we all could learn a thing or two from his teachings and leadership.”
3. My uncle Jim
“My uncle has always been a hero and a mentor of mine and has always supported me no matter what. A retired army vet [veteran] he has always carried himself with pride and has always been an honourable man. He has never judged anyone and is known as the uncle to many, although he only has a few nieces and nephews.
“He taught me to be true to myself, my family and my friends. He also taught me to treat nature with the utmost respect and to have compassion for all living creatures. I look up to him for more reasons than I could ever explain.”