Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

ROSE IN BLOOM Now Tees Medallist Is an Internet Hit; Now Tees Medallist Is an Internet Hit

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

ROSE IN BLOOM Now Tees Medallist Is an Internet Hit; Now Tees Medallist Is an Internet Hit

Article excerpt

Byline: ADAM STEEL

SIT SKIER Sean Rose marked his Winter X Games debut with a dramatic bronze medal - and became an overnight hit on YouTube.

The thrill-seeking Teessider who claimed Britain's first gold medal in a World Cup race last year was "chuffed to bits" after clinching a debut third place in the Mono Skier X race in Colorado.

But it is his dramatic crash-landing finish in winning his semi-final which has attracted just as much attention - more than 20,000 hits on the video-sharing website.

The double Paralympian, 39, is shown slamming into the Aspen snow after a gravity-defying 20-foot jump into the air, pumping his fist in celebration after sliding to a halt on his side.

Sean broke his back in a 2000 skiing accident while instructing with the RAF and was lucky to escape with nothing worse than hurt ribs after getting his take-off wrong in a smash which wrecked his skis and back rest.

"The whole experience was hardcore, amazing," said Sean who is originally from Redcar and now lives in Cambridge.

"I was in an arena full of the craziest people I've ever met in my life and it was right up my street, although I wouldn't recommend that landing.

"I've never hit a jump or anything as big as that in a sit ski and I didn't know if I would have the nerve to do it.

"I was about five or six metres high at one point, which was the highest I've ever been, and I was fortunate, especially because I knew I was starting to rotate backwards on take-off, which is never a good thing.

"That's how able-bodied people suffer spinal cord injuries."

Sean dusted himself down to make the podium despite a sticky start in the final.

His displays made up for the disappointment of missing out on a 2010 Winter Paralympics medal and gained the respect of his risk-taking peers, who took part in events ranging from Big Air skiing to Freestyle Snowmobiling. …

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