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GABEL Keith
Sport Para snowboard
NPC United States   
GenderMen
Age37
Place of BirthSalt Lake City, UT, USA
Height1.78 m
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Type of Impairment
Limb deficiency
Origin of Impairment
Acquired
Classification
SB-LL2
Further Personal Information
Family
Wife Heather, son John Paul [2019]
Residence
Aspen, CO, USA
Occupation
Manager, Public Speaker
Languages
English
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
He began skiing at age 12 at Deer Valley in Salt Lake City, UT, United States of America, and switched to snowboarding in 2000.
Why this sport?
He had been a keen snowboarder before his accident, and was determined to stay in the sport. "The first thing I asked my doctor when we had the conversation about amputation was, 'How long until I can snowboard again?' I was back on my board three months after my amputation. I'm a much better snowboarder than I was before I lost my leg."
Club / Team
Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club: United States
Senior International Debut
Year
2011
Competing for
United States
Tournament
World Cup
Location
Orcières, FRA
General Interest
Nicknames
Grizzly (Instagram profile, 20 Nov 2020; Athlete, 10 Feb 2018)
Hobbies
Hiking, mountain biking, dirt bikes, fishing, camping, travel, boating, wakeboarding, playing the drums, baking, cooking. (Facebook page, 20 Jan 2019; Athlete, 10 Feb 2018)
Most influential person in career
His father and his stepmother. (teamusa.org, 01 Feb 2017)
Hero / Idol
US snowboarders Jeremy Jones and Travis Rice. (Athlete, 10 Feb 2018)
Injuries
He tore a groin muscle and separated his shoulder at the end of the 2012/13 season and spent the following off-season in recovery. (keithgabel.com, 02 May 2012)

He broke several ribs in February 2012. (keithgabel.com, 02 May 2012)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"The power of positivity will always persevere." (Athlete, 10 Feb 2018)
Awards and honours
In 2014 he was presented with a History-Maker Award by the state of Utah in the United States of America. (Athlete, 10 Feb 2018)
Famous relatives
His wife Heather Gabel [nee Short] has worked as a gymnastics coach at Red Brick Center in Aspen, CO, United States of America. (rfweeklyjournal.com, 23 Jan 2020; Heather Roqueza Gabel Facebook profile, 20 Jul 2019)
Ambitions
To compete at the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing. (aspentimes.com, 25 Dec 2018)
Impairment
In 2005 an industrial accident resulted in his foot being crushed by more than 2000 pounds of hydraulic pressure for over 15 minutes. Following four blood transfusions, a blood clot in his left lung and multiple operations, his left leg was amputated below the knee. "If you would've told me, that first day [of being impaired] would turn into me winning the X Games [in 2015], me going to Sochi [in 2014] and competing in the Paralympics, I would've probably laughed in your face. Losing my leg was one of the worst things that ever happened to me. But it was also one of the best. You would never know how strong you are, what you're capable of until you're put through that circumstance. The quality of my life is better in all respects." (Vita Brevis Films YouTube channel, 07 Mar 2016; Athlete, 20 Nov 2013)
Other information
TATTOO
He has a tattoo on his right leg of a band of stitches that makes it look as if his leg has been cut off and sewn back on. "Ironically, I actually got this tattoo a few years before I lost my other leg. My amputation is about an inch lower than the placement of the tattoo but on my left leg. The meaning of this tattoo is that it doesn't matter what happens to me, you could cut my leg off and I'll still bounce back. I guess the universe wanted me to put my money where my mouth was." (teamusa.org, 14 Jun 2013)

OCCUPATION
He works as a programme manager for the Semper Fi Fund, a non-profit organisation that offers assistance and rehabilitation programmes to wounded US combat veterans. Prior to his accident, he operated heavy machinery for an oil and gas drilling and exploration company headquartered in Denison, TX, United States of America. (LinkedIn profile, 01 Jan 2020; Vita Brevis Films YouTube channel, 07 Mar 2016; LinkedIn profile, 01 Jan 2020)

CHARITY WORK
He has served as an ambassador for Team for Tomorrow, a community outreach programme in the United States of America. "I love doing this kind of stuff because I'm a product of community outreach programmes. When I lived with my mother in Oregon, we were super poor. We ate at soup kitchens, we were in and out of homeless shelters. I even stood in line with my mother for days on end during Christmas time for [US Marine Corps charity programme] Toys for Tots just so my siblings could get a decent present. So to be able to give back to the community is an honour for me." (highfivesfoundation.org, 29 Jan 2015; athletego.com, 09 Oct 2013)

Competition Highlights (historical)
World Championships
Rank Year Event Result
7 2014/2015 Snowboard Cross - Lower Limb 2 Impaired  
4 2014/2015 Banked Slalom - Lower Limb 2 Impaired 1:28.08
10 2016/2017 Snowboard Cross - Lower Limb 2 Impaired  
10 2016/2017 Banked Slalom - Lower Limb 2 Impaired 1:10.50
8 2018/2019 Banked Slalom - Lower Limb 2 Impaired 52.34
1 2018/2019 Snowboard Cross - Lower Limb 2 Impaired  
4 2018/2019 Snowboard Cross Team Event  
Paralympic Games
Rank Year Event Result
3 2014 Snowboardcross - Standing 1:47.10
2 2018 Snowboard Cross - Lower Limb 2 Impaired  
6 2018 Banked Slalom - Lower Limb 2 Impaired 51.43
World Cup Finals
Rank Year Event Result
5 2015/2016 Snowboard Cross - Lower Limb 2 Impaired  
4 2015/2016 Snowboard Cross - Lower Limb 2 Impaired  
4 2015/2016 Banked Slalom - Lower Limb 2 Impaired 56.75
2 2016/2017 Snowboard Cross - Lower Limb 2 Impaired  
4 2016/2017 Banked Slalom - Lower Limb 2 Impaired  
4 2017/2018 Snowboard Cross - Lower Limb 2 Impaired 1:07.96
11 2017/2018 Banked Slalom - Lower Limb 2 Impaired 1:19.54
2 2018/2019 Banked Slalom - Lower Limb 2 Impaired 37.80
2 2018/2019 Snowboard Cross - Lower Limb 2 Impaired  
3 2018/2019 Snowboard Cross - Lower Limb 2 Impaired  
WSF World Championships
Rank Year Event Result
4 2011/2012 Snowboardcross - Standing