By Emma Kuechler
Adam Gorlitsky is more than just a world record holder. Besides holding the fastest time for completing a marathon in an exoskeleton, he runs his own Non-Profit, I Got Legs, which helps athletes facing physical challenges feel enabled through technological support. The organization was inspired by his personal slogan, “I Got Legs”, that helped him promote his story. As he was able to adapt to his disability, he wanted to build a group that could support people just like him. As a result, he took the slogan that helped him find success, and turned it into the title of his organization to make his new dream of helping others a reality.
When Adam was 19, he was in a terrible car accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down. He was told by doctors that he would never walk again. However, 5 years ago, he proved that you can never say never. Since 2015, he has completed over 50 races and taken over 1.1 million steps with the help of a robotic exoskeleton, made by Rewalk. Knowing that Adam had an athletic background before his accident, medical professionals pushed for him to try out this new technology. This exoskeleton has been a game changer for Adam and helped him fulfill some tasks that he hadn’t been able to complete in over a decade.
The exoskeletons, as you might imagine, are far from inexpensive. Part of I Got Legs’ mission is to give partial grants and assistance to people looking to get their own exoskeletons. However, they do so much more than provide financial aid. I Got Legs wants to raise awareness to the disabilities many athletes face, while also encouraging these athletes to discover a new way to live a healthy lifestyle. Many people, regardless of their athletic background, find health and fitness a prominent part of their lifestyle. Whether you were a star basketball player or someone who jogged every-other-day, many people with disabilities want to maintain the level of activity that they would have if they were fully physically-able. I Got Legs has created a wide variety of races and activities that anyone, regardless of physical ability, can participate in. The next one will be a 5k occuring on the Fourth of July to help bring people together virtually, while fundraising to help disabled athletes. For more information on how to sign up, head to the I Got Legs Facebook page.
Adam has many other resources that he also personally loves. One of the most notable is the Baytech Mobility Hand Bike Attachment. This attaches to the front of his wheelchair to turn his wheelchair into a seated bike. He is able to go almost 16 miles an hour and loves having a new way to move around. Sharing technologies such as this is part of I Got Leg’s calling, and Adam hopes that from here on out, his ability to help others meet their personal fitness goals will reach incredible heights. Be sure to visit his website and follow him on social media.
Watch his interview with Buttons 2 Button on Sunday, June 27th at 4:00 pm!