2014 Paralympics: Meet Team Utah

Published: Friday, March 7 2014 3:56 p.m. MST

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Courtesy of Keith Gabel
This 29-year-old snowboarder relies on a positive attitude to overcome the tough times that come in every life. The Ogden native and Ben Lomond graduate was introduced to skiing by his father, John Keith Gabel, at age 12, but he was seduced by snowboarding at age 15. In 2005, he was involved in an industrial accident in which his left foot was crushed. Doctors worked furiously to save his foot, but after more than two dozen treatments and a blood clot in his lung, he opted to have his foot amputated.

That was July of 2005, and by Oct. 31, 2005, he was back on a snowboard. He discovered competitive racing through the National Ability Center, and he’s been hooked ever since. He has multiple medals, including an X Games gold as his sport was included as an exhibition event in 2012. He is a medal contender as his sport — snowboard cross — makes its Paralympic debut in Sochi.

“It just feels my heart with joy to be honest with you,” Gabel said of participating in the Paralympics. “I couldn’t be more proud.”

Related: US Paralympic snowboarder Keith Gabel relied on positive attitude, determination to overcome tragedies
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