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9

Össur Ambassadors

Össur Ambassadors inspire others with the remarkable lives they lead.
Each one has a unique ability to motivate and influence others and plays an important role in raising public awareness of the true potential of people with limb loss in their community.

Bibian Mentel

Bibian Mentel

Snowboard

Bibian Mentel

During the preparations for the Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City (2002), Bibian got an ankle injury. Not long thereafter, it appeared to be bone cancer and she had to have her leg amputated. 4 months later, Bibian was back on her snowboard again and only 6 months later, she became Dutch Champion. The following years were all about snowboarding and surviving cancer. In 2012 she founded the Mentelity Foundation, to help children with an amputation to do sports and in 2014 Bibian became Paralympic Snowboard Champion in Sochi. In October 2016, she got diagnosed with cancer for the 8th time, but again she survived and is currently training for the Paraplympics in Corea 2018. Bibian is also a motivational speaker on many (inter)national events and in the beginning of 2017 she received the Strong Woman Award. “When I lose a game, I always think of what I can do better next time. I also deal with cancer that way: what can I do to make sure I beat that terrible disease again. You have to look at your possibilities, not the limitations. It is all about your mentality!”

Facts

Nationality

Dutch

Amputation

TT Amputation

Main Events

Snowboard
Erich Artner

Erich Artner

Running, Cycling, Triathlon

Erich Artner

At the age of 15, Erich Artner was an passionate handball player. This passion came to an end in December 1990 due to the bacterial blood infection "Waterhouse Friderichsen syndrome". After rehabilitation, life restarted again. Erich's way back into competitive sports began with wheelchair basketball. Due to an arm injury, Erich then changed to endurance sports. He discovered Running and Triathlon and participated in many competitions with growing distances. These long distances (marathon, triathlon-long distance) have become Erich's new great passion.

Facts

Nationality

Austria

Amputation

Bilateral, below the knee

Main Events

Running, Cycling, Triathlon
Ernst van Dyk

Ernst van Dyk

Wheelchair Marathon

Ernst van Dyk

With a list of achievements as long as the marathons he races in, Ernst van Dyk is a green-and-gold world champion. Congenital birth defects didn’t deter this inspiring athlete, on the contrary, Ernst’s determination has won him the Boston Marathon nine times and in 2006 the prestigious Laureus Award, among many others.

Facts

Nationality

South Africa

Amputation

Double Below Knee

Main Events

Wheelchair Marathon
Gerald Geier

Gerald Geier

Triathlon (all distances)

Gerald Geier

Facts

Nationality

Germany

Amputation

Below the Knee

Main Events

Triathlon (all distances)
Gregory Gadson

Gregory Gadson

Retired US Army Colonel, Motivational Speaker, Actor

Gregory Gadson

During his illustrious career, Össur Ambassador Col. (ret.) Gregory Gadson received three Bronze Stars, the Purple Heart, two Distinguished Service Medals and the Legion of Merit while serving for more than two decades in the U.S. Army. In May 2007, he became a bilateral, above-knee amputee after sustaining serious injuries during active duty in Baghdad. He became one of the first people in the world to wear BIONIC prosthetics, “test piloting” two of the earliest Össur POWER KNEEs when that technology was first introduced. Today, Col. Gadson enjoys living life to its fullest. He’s very proud of the fact that all of his soldiers returned home from Iraq alive serving a 15-month deployment, and since retiring from active duty, has pursued his interests in photography and outdoor activities, willingly embracing new physical challenges like skiing and SCUBA diving. He’s also an entrepreneur, motivational speaker and actor, having made his professional debut in the 2012 film Battleship. “Össur technologies have taught me about what’s possible, and reminded me to keep challenging myself,” he says. “Life itself is inspiring.”

Facts

Nationality

USA

Amputation

Bilateral Transfemoral

Main Events

Retired US Army Colonel, Motivational Speaker, Actor
Ioannis Sevdikalis

Ioannis Sevdikalis

Long Jump, 100m, 200m and 400m, Javelin F43/ T43

Ioannis Sevdikalis

Ioannis Sevdikalis was born in Athens, Greece where he is still living today. Today he is a professional track and field athlete competing in international as well as national athletic events. He started to practice sports in 2014, just 18 months after his amputation. He lost both his lower legs in a train accident. In 2015 he won the European record in Javelin F43 then he decided to start to run with his new Flex-Foot Cheetah Xtend. He is training hard and today he holds all Pan Hellenic records in 100m, 200m and 400m in class T43. But running was not enough for Ioannis, he trained for long jump as well and in 2016 he jumped a the European record in long jump category F43 and participated in the Paralympics in Rio relay 4x100m and won the 5th place. Not only he is a great sports model, he played also the role of God Zeus in ‘Birds’ from Aristophanes in the completely sold out ancient theatre in Epidaurus. His motto ; never give up... do not to get frustrated and always smile and think positive and continue to believe in yourself !

Facts

Nationality

Greek

Amputation

Bilateral TT

Main Events

Long Jump, 100m, 200m and 400m, Javelin F43/ T43
Jami Marseilles

Jami Marseilles

Marathon Runner and Teacher

Jami Marseilles

A kindergarten teacher by day, and marathon runner by night, Jami Marseilles’ inspirational story is one of sheer endurance and survival. Having lost both of her legs below-the-knee due to frostbite after being trapped in a car for 11 days during a snowstorm, she is determined to live each day to the fullest and follow her passions. As an Össur Ambassador, today Jami lives a Life without Limitation, using PRO-FLEX XC feet for her daily activities and FLEX-RUN with Nike Sole for running and other sports. She is a proud wife, mother, and teacher, and the first bilateral below-the-knee amputee woman to complete a half-marathon and 2 marathons (Chicago-2015 and Boston-2016). She also hopes to mentor and pave the way for other female amputees. Through her continued passion to exercise and live a healthy lifestyle, Jami shares her message with others who need motivation to change their ways for the better, encouraging people to live life with passion, purpose, and desire, which she believes will lead to “embracing the challenges life throws with an open heart full of love.”

Facts

Nationality

USA

Amputation

Bilateral Transtibial

Main Events

Marathon Runner and Teacher
Jim Bonney

Jim Bonney

Work and play in the great outdoors.

Jim Bonney

Jim Bonney is an active Royal Marines Officer in the UK and the father of two very lively boys. Back in the year 2000 Jim had a serious mountaineering accident, falling around 1000ft and fracturing the neck of his right ankle. What followed was 18 months of intense rehabilitation and further surgeries, but still Jim was unable to walk without pain or regain his former mobility. In 2002, faced with only two real options, Jim made the incredibly difficult decision to lose his right foot in order to move forward with the help of modern prosthetics.

Facts

Nationality

UK

Amputation

Below the Knee

Main Events

Work and play in the great outdoors.
Konstantin Veltsi

Konstantin Veltsi

100 m, long jump

Konstantin Veltsi

Konstantin Veltsi was born in Albania and his family moved to Athens, Greece when he was 2 years old where he is still living today. Konstantin lost his lower leg in a car accident in 2010. He is a pastry chef and a personal trainer and a professional athlete competing in long jump F44 and in 100m T44 events. His biggest successes in sports were the participation at the World Championships in Doha in 2015 after only 5-6 months of training and the participation at the Paralympic Games in Rio with the 5th place in the Greek Relay team 4x100m. He is using the Re-Flex Rotate foot for his daily life and the Flex-Foot Cheetah Xtreme for sports.

Facts

Nationality

Greece

Amputation

Lower limb transtibial amputee

Main Events

100 m, long jump
Luc Huberty

Luc Huberty

Triathlon

Luc Huberty

Luc lost his leg due to a car accident. He had 27 broken bones, over 400 stitches and 19 surgeries including the amputation where needed to make sure he would survive. After a though period of rehabilitation, Luc started doing triathlons on international level. In addition to that, he founded Legs Go. With this foundation he wants to make running possible for every amputee. “It’s not our goal to make an athlete of everyone. We want people who have had an amputation to enjoy life again and be active on whatever level”.

Facts

Nationality

Belgia

Amputation

TF Amputation

Main Events

Triathlon
Marko Cheseto Lemtukei

Marko Cheseto Lemtukei

Runner and Paralympian

Marko Cheseto Lemtukei

Born in Kapenguria, Kenya and now residing in Alaska, Marko Cheseto Lemtukei is a professional runner and Paralympian who also loves to hike, fish, and coach children’s soccer. In 2012, the bilateral below-knee amputee received the Inspirational Student Award by the NAFSA: National Association of International Educators, and two years later, he was inducted into to the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame. Marko currently wears Össur’s PRO FLEX XC, which allows him to carry out his daily activities with ease. His prosthesis has also enabled him to compete at higher levels in running, something he thought he would never be able to do after losing both feet as a result of severe frostbite. He also works on helping other amputees believe in themselves and life positive lives, and is inspired by people who try their hardest despite their immediate circumstances without making excuses. He believes it’s important to “be thankful for what you have at the moment and striving towards happiness every day.”

Facts

Nationality

USA

Amputation

Bilateral Transtibial

Main Events

Runner and Paralympian
Martin Falch

Martin Falch

Alpine skiing, triathlon, cross-country

Martin Falch

Facts

Nationality

Austria

Amputation

Below the Knee

Main Events

Alpine skiing, triathlon, cross-country
Michael Seethaler

Michael Seethaler

Volleyball, athletics, cycling, climbing

Michael Seethaler

Facts

Nationality

Germany

Amputation

Below the Knee (both legs)

Main Events

Volleyball, athletics, cycling, climbing
Mike Coots

Mike Coots

Adaptive Surfer and Photographer

Mike Coots

Hawaii native and Össur Ambassador Mike Coots is a surf champion, professional photographer and passionate outdoorsman. Mike won the GoPro Hero award in 2013 and was a finalist in the World Adaptive Surfing Championship in 2015. This year, he’s setting his sights even higher, with hopes of catching a 20-foot wave and winning the GoPro of the World Award. Mike uses Össur’s PRO-FLEX XC prosthetic for daily activities, including fishing, hiking and running. When he’s not in the ocean, he encourages other people with limb loss to believe in themselves and to know that although they may be “beautifully flawed,” everything will work out wonderfully.

Facts

Nationality

USA

Amputation

Right Transtibial

Main Events

Adaptive Surfer and Photographer
Nicole Roundy

Nicole Roundy

Paralympian and Yogi

Nicole Roundy

Nicole Roundy is a World Champion snowboarder and Paralympian. Although she was diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma, a type of bone cancer, which led to the loss of her right leg above-the-knee at the age of 8, Nicole wasted no time getting involved in sports upon her recovery. As a teen, she participated in volleyball and basketball, and learned to ski, later challenging herself further by learning to snowboard. In 2006, Nicole won a Silver Medal for Adaptive Snowboarding from the U.S. National Championships. In 2014, she placed 8th at the Paralympic Winter Games, and took 2nd at the U.S. Paralympics Snowboard Cross National Championships. She’s a three-time All-Around Medalist and World Championship Medalist, and has worn Össur products for most of her life, officially joining the Össur family as an Ambassador in 2013. Nicole is currently training for the 2018 Winter Paralympics and is determined to life a Life without Limitations, ever reminding others to “embrace the little steps that get us where we’re going.”

Facts

Nationality

USA

Amputation

Right Transfemoral

Main Events

Paralympian and Yogi
Penny Pan

Penny Pan

Triathlon

Penny Pan

Lu Pan or Penny Pan is a high achieving individual. She has succeeded academically and professionally-completing university degrees in the UK and USA, along with gaining employment as a finance professional. In addition, she has also got her physical fitness back on track. Penny has successfully shed over 40kg of her body weight and is currently training for a triathlon, believing “life is short- we need to maximize our life experiences and make every second count”.

Facts

Nationality

China

Amputation

Below the knee

Main Events

Triathlon
Robert Mayer

Robert Mayer

100 m, 200 m

Robert Mayer

Facts

Nationality

Austria

Amputation

Right lower leg amputated

Main Events

100 m, 200 m
Sara Andrés Barrio

Sara Andrés Barrio

400 m, 200 m

Sara Andrés Barrio

Sara used to be quite athletic as a child but in 2011 her life changed when she lost both feet. Slowly but surely she rebuilt her life and felt a strong drive to leave behind any limitations and start practicing sports again. Today her specialty is the 400 meter and 200 meter. In the Campeonato de España de Atletismo Adaptado she took the Gold in 400m, Bronze in the 200m and Silver in the 100m. Sara feels like she´s had a new opportunity at life "A new life full of good things and amazing surprises! Now my priority is athletics that make me feel I'm alive, I can do more things every day. Everything I apply myself to".

Facts

Nationality

Spain

Amputation

Lower limb transtibial bilateral amputee

Main Events

400 m, 200 m
Travis Ricks

Travis Ricks

Sit Volleyball

Travis Ricks

Travis Ricks is Senior Programs Manager at the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF), member of the USA Volleyball Sitting National Team, and Össur Ambassador who spends his free time coaching high school wrestling and helping to grow the sport of paratriathlon as chairman of the USAT National Paratriathlon Committee. Travis, who was the PT2 Paratriathlon USA National Champion in 2011, shares that his athletic career really took off once he started using Össur products, because they enabled him to realize his full potential. He currently uses the Iceross X5 Seal-In Liner, RHEO 3 Knee, and Pro-Flex Foot for daily activities and Flex-Run and Total Knee 2100 for sport and recreational activities. His Össur prostheses allow him to run distances he never thought he could and embrace his identity as an athlete. He plans to continue competing sitting volleyball, coaching, and competing in future triathlons.

Facts

Nationality

USA

Amputation

Right Transfemoral

Main Events

Sit Volleyball
Tyrone Pillay

Tyrone Pillay

Shot Put

Tyrone Pillay

Tyrone is an aspiring disabled sportsman participating in athletics. Tyrone was born with an abnormality of the left foot which resulted in the need for a prosthetic foot to assist him with walking. Hard work & determination are Tyrone’s core personality traits. He believes that it is these two traits that will help him reach his goal of becoming the best that he can be. "My inspiration stems from the fact that I know that I can make a difference to many people’s lives by showing that there are no obstacles in life & that you can overcome anything if you have the will to succeed".

Facts

Nationality

South Africa

Amputation

Above the Knee

Main Events

Shot Put
Urs Kolly

Urs Kolly

100m, 200m, High Jump, Long Jump, 100m, 400m, Shot Put, Javelin, Pentathlon

Urs Kolly

Although a Paralympic athlete, Urs Kolly is no stranger to able-bodied competition. In fact he is a strong advocate for mixed ability training and competition. Kolly believes it is important to have a healthy and honest environment and not to be "immersed in the handicapped sector only".

Facts

Nationality

Swiss

Amputation

Below the Knee

Main Events

100m, 200m, High Jump, Long Jump, 100m, 400m, Shot Put, Javelin, Pentathlon