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As practitioners in the Orthotics and Prosthetic field we owe our patients not only our skills of mind and hand, but also the encouragement to live their lives to the fullest. We want them to have a life worth living in spite of whatever physical difficulties they possess. There are many ways to accomplish this, but one of the lesser known is adaptive snow sports.
The O & P field has had a connection with adaptive snow sports from its beginning. The “Grandfather of handicapped (adaptive) skiing” as he is referred to by the Skiing Hall of Fame is none other than Paul E. Leimkuehler, CPO. He had such an impact on the sport that in1981 was inducted into the Skiing Hall of Fame.
Leimkuehler had a trans-femoral amputation in WWII, and went on to become a CPO. In 1956, he created the first set of “outriggers” which are essential to many adaptive techniques. He became an avid skier and racer, and wanted to help others to get the same enjoyment he found from skiing. So the designs and measurements for his outriggers were freely offered to anyone who asked.
With all the recog…