San Diego native and Olympic snowboarding legend Shaun White surprised his biggest fan Zach Sherman, a triple amputee snowboarder, during a recent visit to Woodward Park City.
While visiting Park City for his new lifestyle brand, Whitespace, White surprised Sherman for a snowboard session together and presented him with a Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) grant for coaching, travel and training expenses so he can pursue his dream of competing in adaptive snowboard competitions.
“I thought I was just going to train with my coach at Woodward in Park City,” said Sherman. “When I was waiting at the chairlift, a snowboarder wearing all black walked up to me, lifted his goggles, and said ‘Hey dude, I’m Shaun, wanna go take some laps?’”
Sherman said the two rode up the chairlift talking about each other’s lives, then raced down the slopes together, while sharing a few laughs.
“We entered the halfpipe and Shaun pulled off some tricks right in front of me. At the bottom he reached in his pocket, handed me a grant award from CAF and told me to go live out my dreams,” Sherman said
Sherman, 35, lost both legs and an arm after a life-threatening motorcycle accident in 2010. He’s been an avid snowboarder since the late 1990s and says the sport has been an integral part of his life from a young age.
Over the last 12 years, Sherman has restarted his life and has been adapting as a triple amputee. He has stepped out of his wheelchair, established mobility using prosthetic legs, and is currently enjoying independent living.
After several years of developing a set of feet with binding attachments he has relearned how to snowboard and has been able to improve on the prostheses to become a better adaptive snowboarder.
“With the CAF grant for coaching, training and travel funds, Zach will be able to continue improving his rising ability and compete in adaptive events in pursuit of his dreams,” said Christy Fritts, CAF Spokesperson.
For 29 years, CAF has been leading the way in the world of adaptive sports. Their mission was created to answer the needs of individuals with physical challenges wanting to participate and compete in sports. This April, CAF will distribute over 3,000 grants to individuals around the world for adaptive sports equipment, training and competition expenses.
For more on White and Sherman's special day at Woodward Park City, click here.