Brian Bartlett is an above knee amputee. He became an amputee in 1998 when he was struck by a car. Prior to the accident, Brian enjoyed a very active lifestyle and had a career as a freeskier. Freeskiing involves racing down mountains using a variety of natural features of the landscape such as cliffs for aerial tricks including jumps, spins and flips.
Following the accident, Brian endured rigorous rehabilitation to gain back his strength. He continued skiing on one leg and competed against both disabled and able-bodied skiers. Brian qualified for the U.S. Disabled Ski Team in 1999 and one month later took 7th in the world in the Super G. Brian also worked with the head coach for the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team doing trampoline training simulating flips done in freestyle skiing. Brian later got back into extreme free skiing and joined the Machete Mafia as the teams only disabled skier.
Due to the continued strain his sound leg endured from skiing on only one leg, Brian began researching prosthetic devices that would allow him to comfortably participate in skiing and other extreme sports. As a way to strengthen his leg, Brian began to ride bikes. Soon after he began riding, Brian started treating bikes much in the same way he treated skiing – wanting to go downhill as fast as he could. Brian soon fell in love with downhill mountain bike riding in which the objective is to ride straight down the mountain dodging rocks, trees, and cliffs.
Now, Brian is currently on a downhill mountain bike racing team full of able-bodied individuals, and the team is ranked one of the best in the world.
He has traveled all over the world including recent races in Chile, Santiago, and in the Andes. Brian is also working on a new prosthetic leg designed specifically for athletes. His vision is to invent a prosthetic leg that will allow amputees to participate in extreme sports environments.
Brian is an inspiration, and proof that with determination you can overcome any hurdle. He has accomplished more than most able-bodied individuals could dream of. Brian’s love for speed and extreme sports has made him truly amazing to watch. He will surely continue to push himself to the limits in both his riding as well as in his quest to invent a prosthesis that will allow other amputees to follow in his footsteps.