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Tyler Walker: An inspirational mono-skier

June 14, 2011

Posted by Sam Willis on

In the words of the famous figure skater from America, “the only disability in life is a bad attitude.” Tyler Walker is a classic example of this. The size of fight that we see in the man as he sails the snow on his mono-ski is remarkable. The name is quickly gaining a legendary status in adaptive skiing. The mono-skier has defied all odds to climb the ladder of success and it is due to this perseverance and positive attitude that he has become a true inspiration for many who felt that they had been dealt a hard hand by God.

The 26-year-old mono-skier comes from Franconia, a town in New Hampshire, USA. Walker, or more commonly known as “T-Dog” among his fans and the action sports community, was missing much of his spine at the time of his birth. To further add to his misfortune, he had no control over his legs. This resulted in an operation at the age of 4 where the doctors had to amputate both his legs. However, that was not enough to drown T-Dog’s spirit. He started skiing in adaptive programs at Waterville Valley and Loon Mountain. His talent allowed him to eventually land a place in the New England Disabled Team.

After taking the first significant step towards success in 2006, there was no turning back for Walker. He started climbing his way to the top gradually, showing signs of improvement every time he competed in an event. His persistence and hard work paid off when he managed to clinch victory in the Super G event at Hartford US Disabled Alpine Champs that took place in Breckenridge in 2007. In the same year, he added another gold medal to his collection by triumphing in Slalom at the Ski Spectacular at Breckenridge, Colorado.

Walker hung on to his excellent form in the years that followed and continued to add numerous victories to his name in 2008 and 2009. Some of his achievements include the title in both Slalom and Giant Slalom at the Winter Park Championship, that was held during 2008, as well as a couple of victories in 2009, which included emerging triumphant at the IPC World Cup in Italy along with the US Adaptive Alpine Champs in Colorado, America.

After a year of making a strong impact in the mono-skiing competition, the exciting athlete decided to divert his attention to the biggest platform of extreme sports, Winter X Games, in 2007. There is absolutely no room for error when performing in the ESPN-hosted event. Conquering the contest is the last proof anyone needs about the athletes’ excellence and superior skills.

Walker was unquestionably perfect to embark on such a journey. His complete domination in the mono skiing contest had left little doubt in people’s mind regarding the number 1 mono-skier in the world. T-Dog’s first gold came in 2007. Missing out on the top slot the following year, he had to settle for a silver medal. However, he came back strongly in 2009 to secure the top slot on the podium once and successfully defended it in the year that followed. However, his short reign came to an end in 2011, where he failed to find a place on the podium.

He intends to dominate. The Mono Skier X athletes do not shy away from admitting that Walker is the guy they are looking to beat. He’s fast, furious, fearless and well trained. He has not shown any mercy to his competitors in the preceding years and he absolutely has no intention of suddenly giving up on this habit anytime soon.

About Jan Stearns

I've been living in and loving New Hampshire's White Mountains for most of my life. I moved to Waterville Valley in 1981 and quickly realized why it was dubbed a Yankee Shangri-la. Once you’ve experienced Waterville Valley, you’ll want to call it yours. The great team of Realtors at Waterville Valley Realty can help you find a Waterville Valley home that fits your lifestyle and budget.

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