As a sports commentator, I see many athletes, from professional to grassroots riders, fighting their own personal battles to the finish line. More often than not, those battles are temporary and can be usually be fixed with replacing a component on a bike or taking pain medication for an injury. For Chilean rider Adolfo Almarza, the daily challenge of being a double amputee professional downhill racer is greater than most of us will face in our lifetime and it is one of the most inspiring stories in our sport.Adolfo at the start house for the Garbanzo DH 2013. Photo credit: Scott Robarts
I was so pleased when I saw Adolfo Almarza competing in his second Crankworx in Whistler, Canada this year. At an early age, Adolfo tragically lost both his legs in a road traffic accident but his disability has only made him stronger and he's now riding faster and going bigger than many able-bodied riders.
| If I can, you can too. I invite you to be determined - Adolfo Almarza|
During Crankworx this year, Adolfo proved to be an instant hit with the crowds. When co-commentator Brad Jay and I announced Adolfo was on track during one of the races, the crowd turned their gaze up towards Whistler Mountain to watch this truly inspirational athlete tear down the track and cheer him on across the finish line. Competing in the Pro category during the week-long event, Adolfo raced the Garbanzo DH and Air DH where he secured impressive times in both races.Riding a bike is a helluva lot harder when you're relying on prosthetic legs to get down the track. Adolfo Almarza taking the high left line through In Deep. Photo credit: Colin Meagher
At the Crankworx Whip Off World Championships, Adolfo styled it up alongside freeriders and downhillers. Hitting up Crabapple Hits, he left a trail of dropped jaws in the crowd below and behind him. By the end of the week, Adolfo's achievements had made him a true Whistler legend and a true inspiration to us all.Adolfo getting a tune-up. Photo credit: Claudio Olguin
You can follow Adolfo on Facebook
or learn more about him and his achievements via his website