Sean Pollard is 26 years old and lost both arms after a gruesome encounter with not one, but two great whites in 2014. Now, this shark attack survivor is competing at the Olympic games in PyeongChang, South Korea, next month.
Sean was surfing in Western Australia when the attack happened.
Both my arms were in its mouth and it took me underwater. There was blood everywhere. It ripped my forearm off and sucked the meat off my bone, like a chicken bone pretty much. But I don’t want to be remembered as the shark attack survivor. I’d rather be known as a Paralympian.
A surfer’s worst nightmare, but what a positive way of looking at life. We can all take some inspiration from this.
Pollard first saw snow a year after his attack when he was on a boys’ trip in Canada. By this time he went through a number of operations and a year of rehab. Determined and believing in himself, Sean began competing in snowboard events in Australia. He took part in an specialist camp for Para-snowboarders.
My previous surfing and skating skills have helped my transition into snowboarding.
The Paralympics start on March 9, but this isn’t the first time Sean has been on the slopes of PyeongChang. During the Word Cup Finals of the 2016/17 season he finished eighth in the snow board cross and banked slalom.
Sean on the slopes. Photo: SP Facebook
Sean working his magic. Photo: Paralympic.org.au
Back into the water with special prosthetic limbs. Photo: 9jumpin-Screenshot