SCI Superstar: Aaron Fotheringham

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“Just when you thought sitting was safe” is Aaron Fotheringham’s awesome tagline. Touring with the Nitro Circus (an extreme sports tour), speaking and doing demos at events and at school, such is the life of your-not-so-average 20 year old from Las Vegas, the very brave soul behind the world’s first wheelchair back flip.

Aaron was born with Spina Bifida, but could never just sit. Wasn’t his thing. After being adopted into a close-knit family as a baby (they adopted 7 kids in total), they’re the reason he’s the extreme adapted athlete he is today. One of his brothers was into skating, and Aaron would always come along and watch…

After watching everyone have all the fun, at 8 years old Aaron decided it was time to stop watching and he gave a quarter-pipe a taste of his wheels. Sure he fell, but the rest is history.

Why he’s fearless

Once Aaron became a teenager, he began to enter BMX competitions as the only adaptive athlete. In 2005, he won the Vegas AmJam BMX finals, as well as a slough of several other BMX freestyle competitions. But all that was all build-up for a wheelchair trick Aaron has been silently practicing for years – the world’s first wheelchair back flip.

After perfecting a mid air 180-degree aerial turn in 2005, his back flip dream became a reality at age 14, when he landed the world’s first wheelchair back flip, unscathed and without a bobble or anything (watch here). And to make sure another wheeler didn’t grab the next record, he landed the world’s first wheelchair double back flip in 2010.

The double back flip shot Aaron into extreme sports fame. He’s been touring with the Nitro Circus Live (where he‘s dubbed ‘TNT Wheelz,’ performing live around the world, on a 50 foot mega ramp). And in 2011, he broke another record, landing the world’s first front flip in a wheelchair, while on tour in New Zealand (much more dangerous). Aaron also does tricks like one-wheeled spins and rail grinds.

What’s next?

Aaron has been touring with Nitro Circus all year long. He did the European and Australian/New Zealand leg earlier this year, and he’s currently in South America with the tour. In fact, he’ll be wowing crows in Rio this week! And a true skater boy at heart – never satisfied – Aaron’s working on his next BIG trick – a ‘Flair,’ where he take a 180 aerial and works it into a back flip. This I can’t wait to see.

Want to catch Aaron’s show in person? Check out Nitro Circus’ site to see if they’’re coming to a city near you.

Have the courage to do what Aaron Fotheringham does?

Watch the videos!

– Aaron Fotheringham Double Back Flip

– Aaron Fotheringham Front flips His Wheelchair

– Aaron on the 50 foot mega ramp @ Nitro Circus

– ABC World News- Diane Sawyer – Person Of The Week – Aaron Fotheringham


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