MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - The X Games are in town this week, but these competitions aren't just for the pros; there's a group of young amputees who are learning their way around the course.
“A lot of kids with disabilities are funneled into track and field sports and we want to see them in alternative extreme sports,” said Daniel Edmondson, one of the event organizers.
A group of about 10 Twin Cities kids got to hit the skate park that will be used by the professionals during X-Game competitions this week. All of the participants are living with limb differences.
"I’ve never really skateboarded before," said 12-year-old amputee Eli Brummond. "I know you get on a board and go on ramps and stuff, but this is a first.”
Thanks to a partnership with Wiggle Your Toes and a grant from the Sheckler Foundation, X Games hosted an adaptive skateboard clinic Wednesday.
“It’s awesome that Wiggle Your Toes can get me out here to do stuff like this,” said Brummond. "It’s really cool because I get to skateboard with the other athletes who are disabled.”
"When you take someone with a disability and they get used to a skateboard and get confident on a skateboard, it provides a new level of freedom," says Daniel Edmondson of Wiggle Your Toes.
The clinic coincides with X-Games announcing the addition of a professional adaptive skate division.
"This was a great opportunity this year to have the adaptive skateboard to be added to our event," said X Games Vice President Tim Reed. "And give those competitors the opportunity to put them on one of the biggest stages in skateboarding and show them another part of it all."
The adaptive athletes will receive a cash prize, just as the able-bodied athletes do.
"Adaptive skate has been around for a long time, but only now is it gaining the visibility that it deserves and now the world is going to know who these professional skaters are," said Edmondson.
X Games Minneapolis events are being held throughout the weekend, starting Thursday through Sunday. The professional adaptive skate park contest will take place Saturday at 5:30 p.m.