Toyota sit-ski revolutionizes mobility for Paralympic athletes
Toyota Motor has introduced a new form of mobility for the Paralympic athletes participating in alpine skiing - a Sit-Ski. The mobility device was especially designed for use by US Paralympics Alpine skiers and was designed by the US racing arm of Toyota.
A team of engineers from Toyota Racing Development (TRD) USA and US Paralympics Skiing came together to create the sit-ski concept from the scratch using lessons learned on both the racetrack and the ski hill. Testing of the vehicle has been going on since the winter of 2019 with five-time Paralympian Chris Devlin-young, who helped test the monoski. He also provided his feedback to Toyota's engineers throughout the project.
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The Toyota sit-ski will now be used by two-time paralympic medalist Andrew Kurka and seven-time Paralympic medalist Laurie Stephens at the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games. The project focused on the suspension system, the seating position and fit, and mechanical changes of the vehicle based on the different disciplines within para-alpine skiing.
While Kurka hopes to defend the gold medal he won in downhill at PyeongChang in 2018 and best his silver medal in the Super-G, Stephens will be looking to best her bronze medal in downhill.
The auto maker teamed up with TRD in a quest to revolutionize mobility for the world and inspire the next generation of Paralympic athletes. “There is no better global event than the Paralympics for Toyota to reinforce our passionate belief that everyone has the right to freedom of movement in an inclusive society and we can’t wait to see the athletes compete in the first-ever Toyota Sit-Ski," said Lisa Materazzo, group vice president, Toyota Marketing, Toyota Motor North America.