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BOŠNJAK Bruno
Sport Para snowboard
NPC Croatia   
GenderMen
Age37
Place of BirthZagreb, YUG
Height1.80 m
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Type of Impairment
Spinal Cord Injuries
Origin of Impairment
Acquired
Classification
SB-LL1
Further Personal Information
Languages
Croatian, English, German
Higher education
Mechatronical Engineering - Johannes Kepler University Linz: Austria
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
He began snowboarding at age 13 in Austria. He took up Para snowboard in 2011.
Why this sport?
He was an international-level able-bodied snowboarder before his accident, and he returned to the slopes five years after his accident. "I did not want just to stand on the snowboard and slip down. I was waiting until I was so fit again that I could imagine real snowboard riding. That's why I waited so long. It worked really well, almost from the beginning. The second or the third time I could already carve again and I felt like, 'Whoah, it's working'. It was a surprise. I was over with snowboarding and then I heard about Para snowboarding and it was, 'OK, let's see what I can do'."
General Interest
Memorable sporting achievement
Finishing second in the men's SB-LL1 banked slalom at the 2017 World Cup event in Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea, and placing fifth in the men's SB-LL1 snowboard cross at the 2017 World Cup event in Big White, BC, Canada. (Athlete, 08 Mar 2018)
Injuries
He tore ligaments in his right ankle in late 2019. He was out of action for four months. (paralympic.org, 06 Mar 2020)

He competed with a shoulder injury at the 2016 World Championships in Kelowna, BC, Canada. (in-portal.hr, 10 Mar 2017)

He broke the second and third vertebrae in his back after a fall from his mountain bike before the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games. His injuries ended his chances of competing at the Games in Sochi. (novilist.hr, 28 Mar 2018)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"When I'm on a snowboard, I don't think about problems or issues. I'm just in the moment." (paralympic.org, 06 Mar 2020)
Awards and honours
In 2020 he received an annual award from the Croatian Association of Sports Journalists [HZSN]. (hzsn.hr, 23 Oct 2020)

In 2019 he was named Best Male Para Athlete of the Year by the Croatian Paralympic Committee [HPO]. (total-croatia-news.com, 01 Feb 2019)
Other sports
He represented Croatia in able-bodied snowboarding at the world championships in 2001 and 2003. He also played wheelchair rugby for Austria at the 2013 European Championships in Antwerp, Belgium. (SportsDeskOnline, 03 Jan 2019; rollstuhlsport.at, 01 Jan 2015)
Milestones
His bronze medal in the men's SB-LL1 banked slalom at the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang was Croatia's first medal in snowboard at the Paralympic Winter Games. (SportsDeskOnline, 19 Dec 2018; novilist.hr, 28 Mar 2018)

He became the first Croatian Para snowboarder to win a World Cup medal when he claimed silver in the men's SB-LL1 banked slalom at the 2017 event in Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea. (hrt.hr, 13 Mar 2017)
Impairment
He suffered spinal cord injuries while snowboard training for the 2006 Olympic Winter Games. "I remember everything. I never lost consciousness. I was going 60 kilometres per hour and someone came underneath me in the air. Then when I was lying there and I wanted to move, I couldn't move. The body was not there, I could just feel my head. Then they told me my spinal cord was probably broken." (A Winning Mindset: Lessons From The Paralympics podcast, 20 Nov 2020; in-portal.hr, 31 Jan 2017)
Other information
HARDBOOTS
Due to his impairment he needs to snowboard in hardboots in order to support his legs. "When I came to the Para snowboard world they were looking at me like, 'Eh, who are you, a hardbooter?' I did not feel well and I felt this bad energy, but with time it turned into respect. They see that it's harder for me with my hardboots and more and more people come to me and say, 'Wow, we saw you racing. We respect what you're doing'." (paralympic.org, 06 Mar 2020)

MOVE TO AUSTRIA
Until age seven he lived in Zagreb, Croatia. He and his family then moved to Klagenfurt, Austria. (novilist.hr, 28 Mar 2018)

Competition Highlights (historical)
World Championships - Para snowboard
Rank Year Event Result
5 2016/2017 Snowboard Cross - Lower Limb 1 Impaired  
6 2016/2017 Banked Slalom - Lower Limb 1 Impaired 1:22.54
6 2018/2019 Banked Slalom - Lower Limb 1 Impaired 56.92
9 2018/2019 Snowboard Cross - Lower Limb 1 Impaired  
6 2018/2019 Snowboard Cross Team Event  
Paralympic Games - Para snowboard
Rank Year Event Result
6 2018 Snowboard Cross - Lower Limb 1 Impaired  
3 2018 Banked Slalom - Lower Limb 1 Impaired 54.08
World Cup Finals - Para snowboard
Rank Year Event Result
5 2016/2017 Snowboard Cross - Lower Limb 1 Impaired  
2 2016/2017 Banked Slalom - Lower Limb 1 Impaired  
6 2017/2018 Snowboard Cross - Lower Limb 1 Impaired 1:12.10
9 2017/2018 Banked Slalom - Lower Limb 1 Impaired 1:42.62
4 2018/2019 Banked Slalom - Lower Limb 1 Impaired 42.94
4 2018/2019 Snowboard Cross - Lower Limb 1 Impaired  
4 2018/2019 Snowboard Cross - Lower Limb 1 Impaired