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Össur Ambassadors

Össur Ambassadors inspire others with the remarkable lives they lead.
Each one has a unique ability to motivate and influence others and plays an important role in raising public awareness of the true potential of people with limb loss in their community.

Erich Artner

Erich Artner

Running, Cycling, Triathlon

Erich Artner

At the age of 15, Erich Artner was an passionate handball player. This passion came to an end in December 1990 due to the bacterial blood infection "Waterhouse Friderichsen syndrome". After rehabilitation, life restarted again. Erich's way back into competitive sports began with wheelchair basketball. Due to an arm injury, Erich then changed to endurance sports. He discovered Running and Triathlon and participated in many competitions with growing distances. These long distances (marathon, triathlon-long distance) have become Erich's new great passion.

Facts

Nationality

Austria

Amputation

Bilateral, below the knee

Main Events

Running, Cycling, Triathlon
Ernst van Dyk

Ernst van Dyk

Wheelchair Marathon

Ernst van Dyk

With a list of achievements as long as the marathons he races in, Ernst van Dyk is a green-and-gold world champion. Congenital birth defects didn’t deter this inspiring athlete, on the contrary, Ernst’s determination has won him the Boston Marathon nine times and in 2006 the prestigious Laureus Award, among many others.

Facts

Nationality

South Africa

Amputation

Double Below Knee

Main Events

Wheelchair Marathon
Gerald Geier

Gerald Geier

Triathlon (all distances)

Gerald Geier

Facts

Nationality

Germany

Amputation

Below the Knee

Main Events

Triathlon (all distances)
Gregory Gadson

Gregory Gadson

Retired US Army Colonel, Motivational Speaker, Actor

Gregory Gadson

During his illustrious career, Össur Ambassador Col. (ret.) Gregory Gadson received three Bronze Stars, the Purple Heart, two Distinguished Service Medals and the Legion of Merit while serving for more than two decades in the U.S. Army. In May 2007, he became a bilateral, above-knee amputee after sustaining serious injuries during active duty in Baghdad. He became one of the first people in the world to wear BIONIC prosthetics, “test piloting” two of the earliest Össur POWER KNEEs when that technology was first introduced. Today, Col. Gadson enjoys living life to its fullest. He’s very proud of the fact that all of his soldiers returned home from Iraq alive serving a 15-month deployment, and since retiring from active duty, has pursued his interests in photography and outdoor activities, willingly embracing new physical challenges like skiing and SCUBA diving. He’s also an entrepreneur, motivational speaker and actor, having made his professional debut in the 2012 film Battleship. “Össur technologies have taught me about what’s possible, and reminded me to keep challenging myself,” he says. “Life itself is inspiring.”

Facts

Nationality

USA

Amputation

Bilateral Transhumeral

Main Events

Retired US Army Colonel, Motivational Speaker, Actor
Jami Marseilles

Jami Marseilles

Marathon Runner and Teacher

Jami Marseilles

A kindergarten teacher by day, and marathon runner by night, Jami Marseilles’ inspirational story is one of sheer endurance and survival. Having lost both of her legs below-the-knee due to frostbite after being trapped in a car for 11 days during a snowstorm, she is determined to live each day to the fullest and follow her passions. As an Össur Ambassador, today Jami lives a Life without Limitation, using PRO-FLEX XC feet for her daily activities and FLEX-RUN with Nike Sole for running and other sports. She is a proud wife, mother, and teacher, and the first bilateral below-the-knee amputee woman to complete a half-marathon and 2 marathons (Chicago-2015 and Boston-2016). She also hopes to mentor and pave the way for other female amputees. Through her continued passion to exercise and live a healthy lifestyle, Jami shares her message with others who need motivation to change their ways for the better, encouraging people to live life with passion, purpose, and desire, which she believes will lead to “embracing the challenges life throws with an open heart full of love.”

Facts

Nationality

USA

Amputation

Bilateral Transtibial

Main Events

Marathon Runner and Teacher
Jim Bonney

Jim Bonney

Work and play in the great outdoors.

Jim Bonney

Jim Bonney is an active Royal Marines Officer in the UK and the father of two very lively boys. Back in the year 2000 Jim had a serious mountaineering accident, falling around 1000ft and fracturing the neck of his right ankle. What followed was 18 months of intense rehabilitation and further surgeries, but still Jim was unable to walk without pain or regain his former mobility. In 2002, faced with only two real options, Jim made the incredibly difficult decision to lose his right foot in order to move forward with the help of modern prosthetics.

Facts

Nationality

UK

Amputation

Below the Knee

Main Events

Work and play in the great outdoors.
Konstantin Veltsi

Konstantin Veltsi

100 m, long jump

Konstantin Veltsi

Konstantin Veltsi was born in Albania and his family moved to Athens, Greece when he was 2 years old. He is a pastry chef and a personal trainer and since his amputation in 2010 also a professional athlete in long jump and 100m class T/F44.

Facts

Nationality

Greece

Amputation

Lower limb transtibial amputee

Main Events

100 m, long jump
Marko Cheseto Lemtukei

Marko Cheseto Lemtukei

Runner and Paralympian

Marko Cheseto Lemtukei

Born in Kapenguria, Kenya and now residing in Alaska, Marko Cheseto Lemtukei is a professional runner and Paralympian who also loves to hike, fish, and coach children’s soccer. In 2012, the bilateral below-knee amputee received the Inspirational Student Award by the NAFSA: National Association of International Educators, and two years later, he was inducted into to the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame. Marko currently wears Össur’s PRO FLEX XC, which allows him to carry out his daily activities with ease. His prosthesis has also enabled him to compete at higher levels in running, something he thought he would never be able to do after losing both feet as a result of severe frostbite. He also works on helping other amputees believe in themselves and life positive lives, and is inspired by people who try their hardest despite their immediate circumstances without making excuses. He believes it’s important to “be thankful for what you have at the moment and striving towards happiness every day.”

Facts

Nationality

USA

Amputation

Bilateral Transtibial

Main Events

Runner and Paralympian
Martin Falch

Martin Falch

Alpine skiing, triathlon, cross-country

Martin Falch

Facts

Nationality

Austria

Amputation

Below the Knee

Main Events

Alpine skiing, triathlon, cross-country
Michael Seethaler

Michael Seethaler

Volleyball, athletics, cycling, climbing

Michael Seethaler

Facts

Nationality

Germany

Amputation

Below the Knee (both legs)

Main Events

Volleyball, athletics, cycling, climbing
Mike Coots

Mike Coots

Adaptive Surfer and Photographer

Mike Coots

Hawaii native and Össur Ambassador Mike Coots is a surf champion, professional photographer and passionate outdoorsman. Mike won the GoPro Hero award in 2013 and was a finalist in the World Adaptive Surfing Championship in 2015. This year, he’s setting his sights even higher, with hopes of catching a 20-foot wave and winning the GoPro of the World Award. Mike uses Össur’s PRO-FLEX XC prosthetic for daily activities, including fishing, hiking and running. When he’s not in the ocean, he encourages other people with limb loss to believe in themselves and to know that although they may be “beautifully flawed,” everything will work out wonderfully.

Facts

Nationality

USA

Amputation

Right Transtibial

Main Events

Adaptive Surfer and Photographer
Mohamed Lahna

Mohamed Lahna

Paratriathlete and Paralympian

Mohamed Lahna

Mohamed is a student, graphic designer, and paratriathlete who was born in Casablanca, Morocco. He grew inspired by the famous athletes he watched on TV, who sparked his aspiration to one day make it to the Olympics. Although a congenital defect prohibited him from running until he was an adult, Mohamed overcame his obstacles with the help of Össur’s FLEX-RUN, which enabled him train and participate in competitive triathlons. He is the first African disabled athlete to swim across the Gibraltar, the first above-knee amputee in the world to finish the Marathon des Sables, a grueling, 6-day, 6-marathon event through the Moroccan Sahara; the first African paratriathlete to finish Ironman Kona and Norseman, and he came in 2nd at the 2011 Paratriathlon World Championship in Beijing. When not training or studying, Mohamed is a devoted father who enjoys spending his free time with family and taking care of his kids. He returned from 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio with a Bronze medal in the first paratriathlon event representing Morocco. He wants amputees to know that there is a community of people who are there to help, and “a challenge may be a life-changing one, but it does not have to be life-ending.” With this in mind, he shares a favorite quote by Seneca: “It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.” Mohamed never lets moments of doubt prevent him from moving forward; instead he turns that fear into excitement, and as he says, “then there is no turning back.”

Facts

Nationality

USA

Amputation

Right Limb Deficiency

Main Events

Paratriathlete and Paralympian
Nick Weihs

Nick Weihs

Athletics (100m, 200m, long jump)

Nick Weihs

Facts

Nationality

Germany

Amputation

Right lower leg amputation

Main Events

Athletics (100m, 200m, long jump)
Nicole Roundy

Nicole Roundy

World Champion Snowboarder and Paralympian

Nicole Roundy

Nicole Roundy is a World Champion snowboarder and Paralympian. Although she was diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma, a type of bone cancer, which led to the loss of her right leg above-the-knee at the age of 8, Nicole wasted no time getting involved in sports upon her recovery. As a teen, she participated in volleyball and basketball, and learned to ski, later challenging herself further by learning to snowboard. In 2006, Nicole won a Silver Medal for Adaptive Snowboarding from the U.S. National Championships. In 2014, she placed 8th at the Paralympic Winter Games, and took 2nd at the U.S. Paralympics Snowboard Cross National Championships. She’s a three-time All-Around Medalist and World Championship Medalist, and has worn Össur products for most of her life, officially joining the Össur family as an Ambassador in 2013. Nicole is currently training for the 2018 Winter Paralympics and is determined to life a Life without Limitations, ever reminding others to “embrace the little steps that get us where we’re going.”

Facts

Nationality

USA

Amputation

Right Transfemoral

Main Events

World Champion Snowboarder and Paralympian
Penny Pan

Penny Pan

Triathlon

Penny Pan

Lu Pan or Penny Pan is a high achieving individual. She has succeeded academically and professionally-completing university degrees in the UK and USA, along with gaining employment as a finance professional. In addition, she has also got her physical fitness back on track. Penny has successfully shed over 40kg of her body weight and is currently training for a triathlon, believing “life is short- we need to maximize our life experiences and make every second count”.

Facts

Nationality

China

Amputation

Below the knee

Main Events

Triathlon
Rivaldo Martins

Rivaldo Martins

Distance Runner

Rivaldo Martins

Facts

Nationality

Brazil

Amputation

Below the Knee (Unilateral)

Main Events

Distance Runner
Robert Mayer

Robert Mayer

100 m, 200 m

Robert Mayer

Facts

Nationality

Austria

Amputation

Right lower leg amputated

Main Events

100 m, 200 m
Sara Andrés Barrio

Sara Andrés Barrio

400 m, 200 m

Sara Andrés Barrio

Sara used to be quite athletic as a child but in 2011 her life changed when she lost both feet. Slowly but surely she rebuilt her life and felt a strong drive to leave behind any limitations and start practicing sports again. Today her specialty is the 400 meter and 200 meter. In the Campeonato de España de Atletismo Adaptado she took the Gold in 400m, Bronze in the 200m and Silver in the 100m. Sara feels like she´s had a new opportunity at life "A new life full of good things and amazing surprises! Now my priority is athletics that make me feel I'm alive, I can do more things every day. Everything I apply myself to".

Facts

Nationality

Spain

Amputation

Lower limb transtibial bilateral amputee

Main Events

400 m, 200 m
Travis Ricks

Travis Ricks

Sit Volleyball

Travis Ricks

Travis Ricks is Senior Programs Manager at the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF), member of the USA Volleyball Sitting National Team, and Össur Ambassador who spends his free time coaching high school wrestling and helping to grow the sport of paratriathlon as chairman of the USAT National Paratriathlon Committee. Travis, who was the PT2 Paratriathlon USA National Champion in 2011, shares that his athletic career really took off once he started using Össur products, because they enabled him to realize his full potential. He currently uses the Iceross X5 Seal-In Liner, RHEO 3 Knee, and Pro-Flex Foot for daily activities and Flex-Run and Total Knee 2100 for sport and recreational activities. His Össur prostheses allow him to run distances he never thought he could and embrace his identity as an athlete. He plans to continue competing sitting volleyball, coaching, and competing in future triathlons.

Facts

Nationality

USA

Amputation

Right Transfemoral

Main Events

Sit Volleyball
Tyrone Pillay

Tyrone Pillay

Shot Put

Tyrone Pillay

Tyrone is an aspiring disabled sportsman participating in athletics. Tyrone was born with an abnormality of the left foot which resulted in the need for a prosthetic foot to assist him with walking. Hard work & determination are Tyrone’s core personality traits. He believes that it is these two traits that will help him reach his goal of becoming the best that he can be. "My inspiration stems from the fact that I know that I can make a difference to many people’s lives by showing that there are no obstacles in life & that you can overcome anything if you have the will to succeed".

Facts

Nationality

South Africa

Amputation

Above the Knee

Main Events

Shot Put
Urs Kolly

Urs Kolly

100m, 200m, High Jump, Long Jump, 100m, 400m, Shot Put, Javelin, Pentathlon

Urs Kolly

Although a Paralympic athlete, Urs Kolly is no stranger to able-bodied competition. In fact he is a strong advocate for mixed ability training and competition. Kolly believes it is important to have a healthy and honest environment and not to be "immersed in the handicapped sector only".

Facts

Nationality

Swiss

Amputation

Below the Knee

Main Events

100m, 200m, High Jump, Long Jump, 100m, 400m, Shot Put, Javelin, Pentathlon