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Game Changers 2014: Jeremy McGhee

This paraplegic athlete, who surfs, skis, canoes, and even competed in the 2014 Molokai 2 Oahu Paddleboard World Championships, is inspiring a generation.
Donald Miralle

Extreme sports athlete Jeremy McGhee is a surfer, canoeist, skier, former semi-professional snowboarder, motivational speaker and documentary film star but above all he’s a warrior. After a 2001 motorcycle accident left him without the use of his legs, the paraplegic pioneer created a film series called Drop In, which documents his adventurous feats such as climbing a major backcountry mountain then skiing down it or conquering the 2014 Molokai2Oahu World Paddleboard Championships in Hawaii.

The innovator is flirting with making history in a new way by competing in the inaugural Paracanoe event at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Paralympics. “The effort and exertion that goes into a sport being paralyzed or having a disability makes the Paralympics the one to watch,” says McGhee. “I’d be turning 40 and it would be cool to go for a medal.”

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McGhee’s incredible story is provoking people to start making bucket lists and crossing off items fast. McGhee’s message to the world: embrace your humanity. “Being close to death changes you and now I’m just thankful to be out there.” 

FIT FACT: ​To improve performance, McGhee trains for events three days a week, does cardio, strength training, and physical therapy twice a week, and has two rest days. 

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