Once a badass, always a badass. Or that’s what I hear and having met and spent the weekend with former Paralympic Nordic Skier turned whitewater kayaker, Greg Mallory – I would have to agree. Greg was badly injured in a skiing accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down. Not letting that life altering injury change him or his appetite for adventure, he turned to handcycling and nordic skiing and was a Paralympian in Torino, Italy and Vancouver for the US Paralympic Nordic Ski Team.
But his true love was discovered when he jumped into some whitewater in a kayak and decided to try to keep up with some friends, thinking he would back down when it got too tough for him. That moment never came. Greg was as strong and talented on the river as his buddies and his upper body strength rivaled and inspired those who paddle near him. Greg’s passion for the white water was not without an epic appreciation for the paddling brothers who made it possible for Greg to reach the rivers. Greg leaves his wheelchair at his vehicle and takes to the kayak to be dragged down steep river canyons, guided and steered over rocks and cliffs and eventually safely launched into the river.
Greg has since taken a 2 year expedition trip to the rivers of Patagonia,traveling down the Carreterra Austral, a rugged highway heading north/south in Chile. He converted a Sprinter Van and with a group of friends, checked out of work and life and went exploring. He was also part of an historical expedition to the remote and never-before-paddled raging river in Bhutan in the Himalayas. (Watch pieces of the Discovery Channel show about this amazing trip) So the man is not afraid of the unknown. He is 100% pure bad-to-the-bone badass.
The film above is one slice of what makes Greg so amazing. His spirit, his physical and mental toughness and his amazing outlook on life is beyond inspirational. It’s unfortunate that a terrible accident has magnified a personality that was already pretty special. But Greg’s outlook and determination is not normal. He puts his compromised body in rushing rapids and on steep cliffs where even working legs and knees are challenged. And he spreads his contagious joy for adventure and life to all he meets. I feel so fortunate to have met Greg. And can’t wait to see what he’s got planned next. We’ll be watching.