Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

He Wheely Knows His Abilities; NITRO CIRCUS ARRIVES AT GATESHEAD INTERNATIONAL STADIUM THIS FRIDAY. WHAT'S ON EDITOR GORDON BARR CHATS TO WHEELCHAIR-BOUND STUNTMAN AARON 'WHEELZ' FOTHERINGHAM

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

He Wheely Knows His Abilities; NITRO CIRCUS ARRIVES AT GATESHEAD INTERNATIONAL STADIUM THIS FRIDAY. WHAT'S ON EDITOR GORDON BARR CHATS TO WHEELCHAIR-BOUND STUNTMAN AARON 'WHEELZ' FOTHERINGHAM

Article excerpt

Byline: GORDON BARR

NITRO Circus arrives in the region for this first time this weekend and with it comes amazing wheelchair-bound stuntman Aaron `Wheelz' Fotheringham.

Las Vegas-born Wheelz has spina bifida, but that hasn't stopped him in any way or form as he has taken on the condition like no other.

Proving any obstacle can be overcome with a little bit of innovation, the Nitro Circus star has turned his disability into ability by pioneering an all-new extreme sport.

Confined to a wheelchair with spina bifida since aged seven he inspiring action sports lovers across the globe with a series of world-first tricks adapted from skateboarding and BMX, dubbed WCMX, which you can see for yourself this Friday when Nitro Circus comes to Gateshead International Stadium.

Wheelz started riding skateparks at the age of eight, when his older brother encouraged him to drop into a quarter pipe. From that point on, he was hooked. Over the years, he has honed his skills at skateparks across the U.S. and challenged himself to try progressively more difficult tricks: carving, grinding, power-sliding, hand-planting, and spinning are just a few of his accomplishments. In July 2006, Wheelz landed the world's first wheelchair backflip.

I caught up with him at Gateshead Stadium prior to this Friday's event. "I was born with spina bifida and at the age of eight I started going to skateparks on my wheelchair and started having fun in the parks, just like the skaters and bikers, but with a wheelchair," he told me.

"There are definitely hard things that go along with having spina bifida as far as surgeries and stuff is concerned, but that's no reason to get down and out. I enjoy being in a wheelchair every day of my life.

"I love the adrenaline that comes along with it, the feeling of accomplishing things when you land something that was really scary. …

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