2014 Paralympics: Meet Team Utah

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

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Joe Kusumoto
This Cyprus High graduate was a week from finishing his third deployment in Afghanistan and Iraq when the vehicle he was riding in drove over a massive roadside bomb. His legs were badly damaged, but doctors managed to save them. It’s thanks to innovative leg braces that he’s able to compete in the sport that he’s loved since he was a teen — snowboarding.

He discovered adaptive sports when he saw a video of fellow snowboarder Amy Purdy. That’s when he realized he could resume his passion for snowboarding on Utah’s famous powder.

The 32-year-old retired Navy petty officer 2nd Class calls himself a long shot, but as anyone who understands snowboard cross knows, anything can happen in the sport that’s basically a snow-covered version of motocross racing.

Related: Utah Paralympian Tyler Burdick's passion for snowboarding helped him find a new way to represent his country
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