Travis Gaertner’s Quest for Paralympic Gold

SCIFIT is helping world champion athletes reach their next goal.

Paralympian Travis Gaertner has been athletic since he was a child, despite being born without a left leg and only half of his right.

However, that has never deterred him from remaining active — and competing at the highest levels.

“My parents, from the get go, had myself and my siblings involved in sport and other healthy activities so that we didn’t have time for unhealthy activities,” says Gaertner.

“As far back as I can remember, they had me in wheelchair basketball, wheelchair track. At a very young age I was actually even in gymnastics with a prosthetic leg.”

Gaertner has Paralympic gold medals from the Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004 Games in wheelchair basketball, when he competed with the Canadian team.

Now a US citizen, the 38-year-old has his eye on Tokyo 2020. This time, his sport will be handcycling, which uses a hand-powered three-wheeled bike.

One perfect piece of training equipment for handcycling is the SCIFIT PRO series, ground based training rotary devices that are ideal for strength or cardio.

In fact, the SCIFIT PRO1 was what inspired Gaertner to take up the sport of handcycling.

“As somebody with a disability, you need to feel like you’re stable on the (fitness) equipment that you’re working on,” says Gaertner.

“You need to feel like you can actually excel and work hard. I felt that way right off with the SCIFIT PRO1. The first gym that I got a membership with had a SCIFIT PRO1. After working with that for a while my handcycling took off, that competitive bug came back and now I’m trying to pursue another Paralympic trial.”

Gaertner’s dedication to fitness is inspirational and it’s something that he wants to share with people the world over — especially his kids.

 “(Activity) becomes a way of life,” says Gaertner. “(My kids) see that way of life and they’re much more adept to want and to be physically active most of their life as well. It’s that much more important (for me) to stay physically active. Because I’m limited to a wheelchair it’s harder for me to get around. I’m able to do it right now. But what does that look like in 20, 30, 40 years if I want to maintain my independence?”

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