When it comes to sport, Gerd Schönfelder can‘t get enough! But it‘s not a given for someone in his situation: At the age of 19, Gerd lost his right arm and four fingers on his left hand in an accident. In the following years, the skier went on to become the most successful athlete in the history of the Winter Paralympic Games, winning 16 gold, 4 silver and 2 bronze medals.
Burying his head in the sand was never an option for Gerd. He followed his own path and returned to skiing just five months after the accident. „You‘re only disabled if you let it get the better of you,“ he says. Gerd is bursting with positive energy and a can-do attitude. Some of this drive has gone into helping design a top-tube brake that he operates with his knee. Because when he‘s not standing on two skis, his second-favourite way to train is cycling.
One day you‘re in the prime of life and the next you‘ve only got one arm and one thumb. Gerd knows how it feels to have your normal life snatched away from you. But he didn‘t mope for long: Instead, he fought back with all his strength to make it to the very top – helped by a healthy portion of dark humour.
Change is part of life. Sometimes, obstacles force us to change direction. But our attitude makes all the difference. Gerd shows us how it‘s done: Virtually anything is possible if you have a positive mindset and derive a lot of enjoyment from getting moving.
Gerd is in top form, and not only on two skis. He also enjoys plenty of other sports. His specially modified bikes combine masses of creativity and technical know-how to show that anything goes, even with a disability.
Despite his huge success as an athlete, Gerd‘s feet remain very firmly on the ground. Sometimes he himself can hardly believe just how much he has achieved. These days, he enjoys life to the full, spending time with his family, drinking a beer with friends, or getting out on two wheels.