- Title: Amputee ex-soldier aims for Paralympic glory with world-first snowboard design
- Date: 22nd October 2019
- Summary: CASTLEFORD, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (RECENT) (REUTERS) DARREN SWIFT, FORMER SOLDIER WHO LOST LEGS IN EXPLOSION, SNOWBOARDING DOWN SLOPE (FILMED FROM BEHIND ON SLOPE) SWIFT SNOWBOARDING DOWN SLOPE (SOUNDBITE) (English) DARREN SWIFT, FORMER SOLDIER AND AMPUTEE SAYING: "They go some way towards doing what the knee does; is give you suspension when you're snowboarding, so that's what these do." SNOWBOARD AND BINDINGS (SOUNDBITE) (English) DARREN SWIFT, FORMER SOLDIER, TALKING ABOUT NEW BINDINGS, SAYING: "So they came on board and offered to design these bindings which are just fantastic and they've absolutely turned it all around. There's now no need to go down the slope worrying about the spine, other than normally, the spine or the pelvis. These take out some of the slams that Lee and I were getting so (it's) absolutely revolutionised what we are doing." SNOWBOARD WITH BINDINGS (SOUNDBITE) (English) DARREN SWIFT, FORMER SOLDIER AND AMPUTEE, SAYING: "That has become effectively a knee. It's not as good as a knee, a human knee, but it does enough to take some of the impact out of what we are feeling on the ice." SNOWBOARD RESTING ON PROSTHETIC LEG (SOUNDBITE) (English) DARREN SWIFT, FORMER SOLDIER AND AMPUTEE, SAYING: "With these I am hoping I can shave those three seconds off, and other DAK snowboarders can do the same, and we can get this category as we spoke about, and get to the next Paralympics in China in 2022." CLOSE OF PROSTHETIC PYLONS VARIOUS OF SWIFT MAKING HIS WAY TO SLOPE SWIFT SNOWBOARDING DOWN SLOPE MORE OF SWIFT SNOWBOARDING
- Embargoed: 5th November 2019 11:05
- Keywords: Paralympics Beijing 2022 snowboarding Darren Swift 3d printed snowboard bindings International Paralympic Committee
- Location: CASTLEFORD, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM
- City: CASTLEFORD, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Snowboarding,Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA001B26HQ2N
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: A former British Army soldier is hoping to achieve his Paralympic dreams with the world's first 3D-printed snowboard bindings.
Darren Swift, 53, who lost both his legs above the knee in a bomb explosion in Northern Ireland, has successfully tested the bindings, which he hopes will help him qualify for the 2022 Winter Paralympic Games in China.
He is aiming to revolutionise para-snowboarding by enabling other double above the knee (DAK) amputees to compete against each other, rather than more able-bodied para-athletes.
The new bindings, which have been designed by the Bristol-based Centre for Modelling Simulation (CFMS), are the first to be able to absorb shock and adjust to different users' positions.
"So they came on board and offered to design these bindings which are just fantastic and they've absolutely turned it all around. There's now no need to go down the slope worrying about the spine other than normally, the spine or the pelvis," Swift said.
More than 500 digital engineering hours have been dedicated to the development of the prototype bindings. They have been 3D-printed using a strong material made from nylon and fibreglass.
Swift had realised the importance of being able to use the knees in the sport, and wanted to find a solution for him and other DAK amputees to take part in the sport.
"That has become effectively a knee. It's not as good as a knee, a human knee, but it does enough to take some of the impact out of what we are feeling on the ice," he said.
It is hoped that the new bindings will encourage the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to create a new category for DAKs competitors.
(Production: Edward Baran, Stuart McDill)
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