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INTERNATIONAL PARALYMPIC COMMITTEE
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Patrick Mayrhofer of Austria

Patrick Mayrhofer

Snowboard
1

Austria’s Patrick Mayrhofer made history in 2014-15 by becoming the first upper-limb impaired rider to win banked slalom at the World Cup in Landgraaf, the Netherlands.

Mayrhofer, 28, had been snowboarding for 15 years before being electrocuted at work in 2008, causing his left hand to be amputated. He also sustained damage to leg muscles and a finger on his right hand.

In 2012, after lots of rehabilitation, the Austrian was at an exhibition about prosthetics where he came across a booth being run by his national Para sport team. They talked about which sports he liked and the rest is history.

In 2013-14, Mayrhofer debuted at the IPC Para Snowboard World Cup Finals in La Molina, Spain, the same venue where he won gold in banked slalom at the 2015 IPC Snowboard World Championships.

He also finished top of the men’s SB-UL World Cup standings in the 2015-16 season.

But disaster struck the Austrian just before the 2017 World Championships. An injury put him out of contention for the defense of his banked slalom world title.

Mayrhofer looked in great form beforehand, finishing on the podium at the opening World Cup in Landgraaf. He will return in 2018 looking to prove himself at the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.

Biography

Impairment information

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

Further personal information

Family
Wife Isabella
Residence
Vienna, AUT
Occupation
Technician
Languages
English, German

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He began snowboarding in 2000 through a school course. He was introduced to Para snowboard in 2012.
Why this sport?
He had been snowboarding for a number of years before his accident. In 2012 he was at an exhibition about prosthetics where the Austrian Paralympic Committee had a booth. He talked to them and chose to pursue Para snowboard.
Name of coach
Jean-Claude Keipes [national]

General interest

Memorable sporting achievement
Being selected to compete at the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, and winning gold in the SB-UL banked slalom at the 2015 World Championships in La Molina, Spain. (Athlete, 09 Mar 2018)
Most influential person in career
His wife Isabella. (Athlete, 09 Mar 2018)
Injuries
In February 2017 he suffered a knee injury during a training run that ruled him out for the rest of the year. (Facebook page, 13 Oct 2017; oepc.at, 02 Aug 2017)
Awards and honours
He was named the 2015 Sportsman with an Impairment of the Year in Austria. (parasport.at, 30 Oct 2015)
Impairment
In February 2008 he was working as an electrical engineer on a high-voltage power supply at a cement plant in Austria. He touched a 6000-volt power line, severely damaging his left hand and losing the thumb and part of the middle finger of his right hand. Doctors tried to reconstruct his left hand without success, so in July 2010 his left arm was amputated about 17 centimetres below the elbow. (Athlete, 09 Mar 2018; tips.at, 06 Jul 2011)
Other information
NATIONAL FIRST
He became the first Austrian athlete to win a medal in snowboard at the Paralympic Winter Games by claiming silver in banked slalom at the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang. (SportsDeskOnline, 03 Jan 2019; derstandard.at, 16 Mar 2018)

OCCUPATION
He works as a prosthetic technician. (Athlete, 09 Mar 2018)

PIONEER
He received worldwide media attention in 2011 when Austrian scientists fitted him with a pioneering bionic left arm, the first of its kind to be fitted in Europe. The hand is connected to his body through a socket containing electrodes that are in direct contact with the skin. The electrodes receive neuroelectrical signals from his brain's nervous system, allowing him to move the hand, grasp objects, ride a bicycle, go rock climbing and eat with a knife and fork. "I can do so many things I could not do before, like brush my teeth and tie my shoe laces." (dw.de, 2012; tips.at, 06 Jul 2011; bbc.com, 18 May 2011)

Results

Unit Date Rank
2015 IPCAS Para Snowboard World Championships La Molina (La Molina, Spain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Snowboard Cross SB-UL Race 1 2015-02-24 5
Men's Banked Slalom SB-UL Race 1 2015-02-28 1
Pyeongchang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games (Pyeongchang, South Korea)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Snowboard Cross SB-UL Final 2018-03-12 5
Men's Banked Slalom SB-UL Final 2018-03-16 2
Pyha 2019 World Para Snowboard Championships (Pyha, Finland)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Banked Slalom SB-UL Race 1 2019-03-27 2
Men's Snowboard Cross SB-UL Race 1 2019-03-30 5