“Monster” Mike Schultz is gearing up for his latest winter competition.
The X Games Paralympic athlete has a new cutting-edge prosthesis that will take his power and vigor to the next level.
“My prosthetic equipment directly affects my performance, I would not be capable of what I do without it,” he recently told Fox News. “This year I’m working on the next generation of equipment to allow my leg system to work more naturally as I move up and down on the bike and snowboard. The new additions allow me to be more balanced through my range of movement.”
The new technology is designed to help Schultz, who is a nine-time X Games gold medalist and a gold and silver medalist from the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in snowboarding, compete in Adaptive Snow BikeCross.
The athlete said: “My prosthetic leg system basically acts like suspension for my body and absorbs impacts and assists with knee extension while I’m moving around on my bike. I can calibrate the alignment and tune the spring and hydraulic resistance to accommodate the sport and terrain I’m using it for, which is unique to my designs.”
The new knee and foot components were designed with digital manufacturer Protolabs.
"It was an honor to come together with one of the world’s elite Paralympic athletes to create components for a next-level prosthesis that enables him to compete at peak performance. This collaboration is a great example of the inspiring and life-improving products that can be achieved with the help of advanced manufacturing,” Protolabs said in a statement.
They added: “We share Mike’s commitment to continuous improvement and determination to achieve things that were previously thought to be difficult, or even impossible."
Schultz, a native of rural Minnesota, has been building back since his life-changing injury in winter of 2008.
“I was thrown from my machine and landed feet first, on impact," he said. "My left knee hyperextended 180 degrees causing a compound fracture of my tibial plateau, which severed the main artery that supplied my lower leg. The massive trauma and blood loss caused major complications, and three days later we had to amputate just above the knee.”
Schultz said he has always had a thrill for adventure, and he’s grateful that current technology allows him to continue to perfect of his craft.
“I’ve always had a competitive personality and enjoy pursuing a challenge, both physically and mentally," he said. "I love the feeling of accomplishment when I set a lofty goal and I have to prepare and execute in order to meet it. The harder I have to work for something, the more excited and motivated I get."
He added: “I love the process of training and seeing my personal progression as I work my way toward the goal. Being a professional athlete, especially an adaptive athlete, challenges both mind and body to another level."