Ricky James

Challenged Athletes Foundation - Featured Athlete

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Meet Ricky James - From Motocross to IRONMAN
Ricky James was born a natural athlete with a character defined by strength, courage and a never quit attitude.

Ricky started racing motocross at the young age of 10 and quickly established himself as a top competitor with his sights set on the professional world of racing. He quickly rose through the ranks of elite amateur racing, when one day dramatically diverted his path in racing, and in life. After getting thrown off of his bike in a bad collision during a race at the age of 16, Ricky became a paraplegic; losing all feeling and movement from his sternum down.

Ricky's determination was unrelenting as he completed his rehabilitation in five weeks with the close support of his family and friends. Ricky continued to drive towards his goal of elite racing and one year after his injury, rode his adaptive motocross bike on the very track in which he suffered his life changing injury. He also completed the 2007 SCORE International Baja 500 in Ensenada, Mexico and won a silver medal in Adaptive Motocross at the X Games.

In line with his need for speed, Ricky quickly changed gears when he discovered the sport of paratriathlon through the Challenged Athletes Foundation and his mentor David Bailey. He learned to ocean swim and how to push a racing chair with dedication and commitment to his training. He completed the grueling Ironman World Championships in Kona, a 140.6 mile race of endurance and grit. He then went on to win his first championship title at IRONMAN Florida 70.3 and has three full Ironman races planned for this year.

"With the proper training, support, and focus I hope to reach my ultimate goal of attempting the Ultraman (6.2 mile open ocean swim, a 261.4 mile cross-country bike ride, and a 52.4 mile ultra-marathon run) in Hawaii in the future!"-Ricky James
Ricky's wheelchair is not a symbol of confinement but rather one of possibility. His extraordinary accomplishments early in life are a taste of the endless possibility that his future holds. Regardless of the terrain on his path ahead, be it racing on dirt or the open road, Ricky will stop at nothing to accomplish his dreams.