A leg amputation would end the career of most professional sports athletes. In the case of Monster Mike Schultz, his snowmobile crash and resulting recovery was a springboard to a new career, a different sport, and a broadening of his horizon. In the above interview, Schultz describes the prosthetic sports leg he developed that has allowed him to continue his athletic endeavors.
Schultz founded BioDapt based on his own effort to create a leg that would allow him to compete again. His unique combination of mechanical aptitude with a detailed understanding of the needs of a world-class athlete allowed him to conceive and develop a prosthetic leg for action sports. Soon, he found himself on a snowboard, eventually winning gold and silver medals in that sport from the 2018 Winter Paralympics in Pyeongchang and the 2022 Paralympics in Beijing.
As rewarding as the medals are, Schultz takes pride that BioDapt’s prosthetic legs have helped others win medals; even though this has sometimes relegated him to second place. In the 2022 Paralympic games, twenty-six athletes from eleven different countries had his components. He estimates that, on average, BioDapt ships one hundred components per year from its Minnesota shop.
Monster Mike is self-taught and, as mentioned in his TIS22 conference keynote, worked briefly in telecom construction in high school. He reconnected to telecom through his involvement with Adaptive Spirit (the producers of SkiTAM). The surplus funds from not-for-profit Adaptive Spirit support the U.S. Paralympics Ski and Snowboard Team.
Finally, Schultz talks about his motivation for writing about his journey. His book, Driven to Ride is surely just a first volume of an inspirational story.