Aaron Fotheringham

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/09/14/art.aaron.jpg

caption=”Aaron Fotheringham, 17, competes in extreme sports with a wheelchair.”]
Aaron Fotheringham has earned his “whining rights,” but he’s never touched them. He was born with spina bifida, unable to use his legs and adopted into a home with 5 other kids. None of that has ever kept him or his need for speed down.

Since he was a baby, he was right on track with the rest of the kids. There was nothing he couldn’t do. He just did it in his own way — crawling on his tummy and pretending to fly like superman down the hallway on crutches. When he was eight years old, he went to a skate park in his wheelchair and saw the tricks the guys there were doing and said, “Hey, I can do that!”

At first, he fell off a drop in a quarter pipe. But, he tried again until he started doing difficult tricks and entering free style competitions. “Wheelz,” as his friends call him, won the 2005 Vegas AmJam BMX finals, and soon after landed the first wheelchair back flip. He is the only known competitive “hard core sitter,” as he likes to say, so he competes against extreme bikers and skaters. His advice to anyone thinking about cashing in their “whining rights” — “Don’t limit yourself. Just go out there – just live your life. Do something gnarly.”

Update: Watch the CNN.com Live interview

This entry was posted in Amazing talents, Athletes, Stereotype busters. Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Aaron Fotheringham

  1. Jonathon M says:

    I think that that dude is awesome if he can do that many things

  2. Devin B says:

    I think that he has to have alot of heart to do that stuff.

  3. faustino says:

    wow thats thight a person that cant walk but is doing thight and fun stuff cool

  4. trent kearn says:


  5. trent kearn says:

    how did u do that back flip and what did u do it on

  6. Mrs. Weber's Current Event's Class says:

    How do you stay in your chair when you do extreme tricks like your backflip? And, what is your top speed (what’s the fastest you’ve ever gone)?

    Mrs. Weber’s CE Class

  7. George says:

    Dude you really rock and i think that more people should take a page, or atleast a verse from your book and let themselves free from the thought that they cannot do something.
    I really admire a person like you and think that you will make a real roll model for alot of youngsters so keep it reall and keep rolling those weels and turning hearts and minds the world over cause this world really need a more guys like you there.

  8. Lindsay Rico says:

    Who or what inspires you, Aaron? I find you incredibly inspiring!!!

  9. Linda says:

    I just wanted to say I admire your courage and hope you do everything you want to do in this life. Just do it!

  10. Amy says:

    I’m 33, and was also born with spina bifida. I’ve learned how to play a lot of sports, but never thought it would be possible to do things like my brothers used to do on their skateboards! I applaud you for your innovation. My question is, how many times did it take you to finally do the backflip?

  11. Nicole Lapin says:

    Aaron was awesome- just met him in the studio! Thanks for your comments and questions!

  12. Michelle P. says:

    THATS MY COUSIN!! woo hoo!

  13. Pingback: CNN | Young People Who Rock | Aaron Fotheringham

  14. tim 702 kreu says:

    my name is tim thurtle i have known wheelz for a few years i have had the plesure of traveling with him if you have not met aaron hes truley a good kid he inspires all those who he meets and also gives hope and inspiration to all he is my friend to you wheelz hugs and kisses your friend tim and your always in our hearts the 702 kreu

  15. agnes says:

    Your so inspiring and amazing!Never give up.your a role model to people to never give up!!

  16. light says:

    Hey man, you are amazing. Keep the faith, and keep your dreams afloat. You really inspired me. You might be good on wheels. I am good with a pen and a peice of paper…….I an author, who has a condition, too. http://www.ididnotknow.net

  17. Nancy says:

    Nice job you are a great influnce for all those people out there that have physical or mental problems. You showed them that people like you can be successful as well. I bet that if my brother met you he would really be inspired by you! I hope you achieve alot more!!!!!!!!!

  18. Garren Lesko says:

    sweet ride man!

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