Tony “Tone” Thogmartin Photo by Jam Press
Name: Tony “TONE” Thogmartin
Occupation: sponsored athlete
Location: Upland California
We read that you had a snowboarding accident and one result of that is that you now use a wheelchair, please tell us some more about what happened and the injuries you sustained? At what level were you snowboarding?
I was injured March 25th, 2017 Snowboarding with some friends. I went off a job awkwardly and came down on my back and instantly lost feeling below the waist. I was novice in snowboarding at the time of my accident and was just getting into the sport
Did you realize the severity of you're accident straight away?
Yes, I knew something wasn’t right and I was in a lot of pain
Describe your feelings at this time~
I love my life and wouldn’t change a thing. I have taken this tragedy and turned it into a positive and have had some great opportunities along the way
How long were you in hospital for? Describe your treatment and physiotherapy was it a long process to get the point where you could begin wheelchair skating?
I was hospitalized for over 40 days and for about 30 of them I was in therapy 3-5 hours a day working on how to live life in a wheelchair. I caught on quick and started skating a year after my accident
Why did you start skating was there a person that inspired you to do it?
I’ve always skated my whole life before my accident and that was always my favorite thing to do. I saw a few people doing it and it just pushed me to be the best I could be at it.
How long have you been doing it for now? How many times per week do you practice?
It’s been about 2 and a half years I’ve been skating. Well I train at the skatepark 3-4 times a week, but it’s more than just skating. The other days I’m doing some type of body conditioning such as weight training or cardio.
Do you have a specially modified wheelchair for skating? If so what moderations have been made to the wheelchair?
Yes, my chair is a WCMX (wheelchair motocross) chair made by Colours in Corona California. It is re-enforced for the abuse I put it through. And it also has suspension and special casters that fit skateboard wheels.
What is the reaction from friends and family? Are they supportive?
Everyone is super supportive and happy for me that I’m active and happy. Some just can’t watch too much of it because of the danger factor that goes with it.
What are the reactions in public when you do your amazing tricks?
When I’m at a skatepark, everyone stops and stares in amazement of what they are watching.. it makes me really nervous but I’ve accepted it.. and they are right to stare, it’s pretty crazy!
What is your favorite skatepark to go to? And why?
My favorite park would have to be Fontana South skatepark. The way the park is set up is perfect for wheelchairs and skaters alike. Really good flow and accessibility
What feeling does skating give you?
It makes me feel free, I don’t feel any different than anyone else there and I get treated in that same manner.. it’s where I’m most in my element.. my home.
Do you compete? If so did you ever won?
I have competed in a few competitions, unfortunately I haven’t won.. but I have won silver in the North American Championship and 2nd in the USA National Championship of Skateboarding and 2nd in the 2020 World Championship of WCMX
Have you ever had any injuries during skating? If so could you tell us what happened? You call yourself a professional backbreaker why?
You don’t skate and not get hurt, it’s just part of it..in my chair I have broke my wrist, my finger and also blew apart my fingertip and had to get it stitched back together. It’s more of a joke on why I call myself that. I’m getting to do what I love because I broke my back. Made a profession out of it
Please tell us what your biggest stunt was ever? And why was this the biggest one?
There have been some big ones to grinds to backflips. But there was this this hand rail that took me over 6 months to land and there were countless falls and injuries from it so when I landed it, it was a huge accomplishment
At what stage are you now in your recovery?
I’m done with recovery in my eyes. I live my life day in and day out just like anyone else
What are your hopes and aims for the future?
My aim is to process in my skill, but more importantly to progress the sport and access of it. More clinics for kids, helping design parks that anyone can use. Just letting people know what we do that this sport is out here
Q&A is from an interview that Tony did with Niamh Shackleton UNILAD
You can find more about Tony here
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