Patrick Mayrhofer was the first snowboarder with an upper limb disability to win the banked slalom at the World Cup in the Netherlands in 2015. Shortly after, he also came out on top at the prestigious Big White championships in Canada.
Mayrhofer, a native of Austria, had already been a keen snowboarder for nine years when he was electrocuted at work in 2008, resulting in the amputation of his left hand. His leg muscles and the fingers on his right hand were also damaged in the accident.
Following rehabilitation, Mayrhofer visited a prosthetics trade show in 2012, where he came across a booth run by Austria’s para-sport team. Today, he is not just a member of the team, but above all an important ambassador for his country as well.
Mayrhofer made his debut in 2013/14 in La Molina in Spain, where he also subsequently participated in the IPC Para-Snowboard World Championships for the first time in 2015. Mayrhofer took the gold medal in the banked slalom event at these world championships, and also achieved fifth place in the snowboard cross.
He now has his sights set on the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Paralympic Games in South Korea.
Key competitive achievements
- Snowboard slalom 2015: Para-World Champion
- Austrian disabled athlete of the year, 2015
- Overall World Cup winner, 2014–2015 and 2015–2016
Coach: Mario Ratz
Club: ÖSV – Austrian Ski Federation
Career highlights: Gold medal in the slalom at the 2015 Snowboard World Championships in La Molina, Spain
Overall World Cup winner, 2014–2015 and 2015–2016
Equipment: Michelangelo hand for everyday use.