Nightly News   |  February 20, 2014

Amputee Snowboarder’s Grit Inspires Others to Compete

As the Olympics begin to wind down in Sochi, Paralympian Evan Strong is preparing for his big moment.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> finally tonight as the olympics start to wind down here in sochi as was the case in the last olympics in london, will begin the next games, the paralympic, 77 americans on team usa , among them, the california snowboarder who is all about the impossible.

>> reporter: take a look, the grit, and perseverence of evan strong. but this 27-year-old walking the tight rope to sochi is missing something that most think is vital. do you ever forget you don't have a leg?

>> all the time, i definitely forget i have a prosthetic, and i trip myself and go wow, where did that thing come from?

>> reporter: as a teen, the young man competed. while riding a motorcycle, he was hit by a car.

>> having my leg amputated, the accident flipped my world upside down.

>> reporter: even on the operating table he fought to compete.

>> he said no, i need my knee and if we can work this out together and you let me keep my knee, i'm determined, i will absolutely give you my word as a man that i will use this knee.

>> it was his strength that kind of pulled us through that entire ordeal.

>> reporter: not the other way around?

>> no, i mean you would think it is the parent's job to support the children. we were kind of like basket cases.

>> reporter: within a year this determined kid was back at it, setting small goals.

>> the first time getting on my board and getting to fly? freedom. i knew at that point that everything was going to be okay.

>> reporter: using this jerry-rigged skate board here, the passion for another board was born. the snowboarder, in the para-snow boarder races, he has been a champion. his injury brought out something else, the desire to teach other amputees about their possibilities.

>> i'm going to be here for you.

>> reporter: adaptive action sports , founded by him and his teammate shows people with permanent disabilities there is a place for them in the world of action sports .

>> when they can see and know that you can do these things and you get to watch somebody do that it is definitely a lot harder for a life changing accident or a life changing situation, to get the best of you.

>> reporter: evan wants to give that lesson to others.

>> i feel like a little kid again.

>> you don't know how strong you are until you're forced to be strong.

>> reporter: for evan strong, nothing is going to slow him down. kevin tibbles, nbc news, nevada city , california.