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New Technology Helped Utahn Ascend Pikes Peak

New Technology Helped Utahn Ascend Pikes Peak


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Shelley Osterloh ReportingLast weekend a Utah athlete became the first person to climb Pikes Peak in a wheelchair. Muffy Davis is a multi-medal paralympic skier who says the new wheelchair technology that helped her make the long steep assent may help others who use wheelchairs too.

Muffy Davis is anxious to spread the word about her new wheelchair called the I-Glide. At the University of Utah Rehabilitation Center's annual Barbecue she demonstrated how the I-Glide Works. It is manually operated but has a computer and battery under the seat that help propel the user.

Muffy Davis, Wheelchair Athlete: “Door thresholds are hard; it’s hard in a wheelchair. You get stuck at a curb and just up it. This minimizes a lot of that. I think that in ten years you'll probably see this technology on at least half, if not more, of the wheelchairs out there because it enables us to go farther and do more."

It also has braking system that slows the chair automatically so it doesn't run away.

This remarkable chair made it possible for Davis, who is a paraplegic, and Dr. Glen House, who is quadriplegic, to climb 13.5 miles and 7,000 vertical feet to the top of Colorado's Pikes Peak. It was the first ever wheelchair assent.

The Pikes Peak challenge helps promote brain and spinal chord injury prevention. Its honorary chair is an old ski buddy of Muffy's -- Picabo Street.

Picabo Street: "Muffy is alive. She is paralyzed but she is alive because she had a helmet on and that is something. That I have been trying really hard to send a message on her behalf and now she finally retired and got to come here and be part of the challenge with me."

Muffy says accomplishments like the Pikes Peak challenge also show what's possible after an injury.

Muffy Davis: "That life still goes on and you can still reach your dreams and accomplish what ever it is. I kind of use myself and my life hopefully as a role model and example to show everyone else that there are on no limits. The only ones we have, are the ones we put on ourselves."

Now new technology helps those with disabilities overcome even greater obstacles. As part of National Rehabilitation Awareness week Muffy Davis will speak about her trip up Pikes Peak and let others try out the new I-Glide Wheelchair.

That's tomorrow at the University of Utah Rehab Center Gym at 12:15.

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