Ottobock reports that it has named world champion snowboarder Keith Gabel as its newest ambassador, serving as a role model for young athletes with disabilities. Gabel, a below knee amputee, will work with Ottobock to promote the importance of an active lifestyle and showcase the technology he uses in both his daily life and to compete in the sport of snowboarding.
According to a company news release, Gabel is a member of the US Para Snowboard team and is ranked first in the world in the sport. The company notes that he is also designated as a favorite to medal in the event during its Paralympic debut in Sochi 2014. Gabel has also won gold in the X-Games Para Snowboard Cross, is a seven-time World Cup medalist, and reportedly has the distinction of being the first amputee to hit a 65 foot plus jump in the Burton Open.
Gabel also keeps an active lifestyle, engaging in activities including hiking, wakeboarding, rock climbing, downhill and cross country mountain biking, and camping. Gabel emphasizes that his active lifestyle is among the multiple reasons he is proud to partner with Ottobock, particularly in light of their products that he says, “withstand the kind of beating an active amputee such as myself can, and will, put it through.”
Karen Lundquist, director of Communications, Ottobock, adds that Gabel’s range of activities and feedback regarding the performance of the company’s products, “will greatly contribute to how we reach and support people with limb loss all around the world. We’re also very excited to support the new-to-the-Paralympics sport of snowboarding in which he excels and which we believe will result in a whole new viewing audience for parasports.”
The release notes that Gabel also commits his time, when not training, to finding others who are struggling to rehabilitate from an accident or life altering illness, in an effort to help these individuals and their families through a process he understands.