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.
Further personal information
Sport specific information
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)
He works as a prosthetic technician. (Athlete, 09 Mar 2018)
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)
|Men's Snowboard Cross SB-UL||Race 1||2015-02-24||5|
|Men's Banked Slalom SB-UL||Race 1||2015-02-28||1|
|Men's Snowboard Cross SB-UL||Final||2018-03-12||5|
|Men's Banked Slalom SB-UL||Final||2018-03-16||2|
|Men's Banked Slalom SB-UL||Race 1||2019-03-27||2|
|Men's Snowboard Cross SB-UL||Race 1||2019-03-30||5|