Wheelchair motocross pioneer Aaron
Aaron “Wheelz” Fotheringham’s older brother Brian literally pushed him into the sport that is now known as WCMX (Wheelchair Motocross). With Brian’s encouragement, and after weeks of watching the action from behind a skate park fence, Aaron dropped into his first quarter pipe.
He crashed the first couple of times, falling hard on his wrists. Then Fotheringham rolled, and he was instantly hooked.
Fotheringham was born with spina bifida, and as a result has never had use of his legs. He relied on crutches before transitioning to a wheelchair full-time at the age of eight. Instead of seeing his new set of wheels as a medical device, Fotheringham viewed them as an extension of his body that represented a world of possibilities.
Fotheringham usually lands a new trick a few times after he feels like he should give up for the day. His relentless determination has helped him set a number of world records. He is the first known person in history to land a backflip, double backflip, and front flip in a wheelchair.
Beyond the accolades, Wheelz hopes the limits he continues to push inspires others to use their wheelchairs in new ways. “I want it to be a normal thing when you go to a skate park and you see someone on a wheelchair shredding the gnar,” he says.