Hudson teen hand-cycles from Maine to Florida to spotlight adaptive … – Milford Daily News
Jonathan Dame Daily News Staff @DameReports
HUDSON – One of Owen Anketell’s ski coaches was the first person to push a wheelchair up Mt. Washington Auto Road. Another was the first to ski down that mountain’s Tuckerman Ravine in a special ski for people with disabilities.
Anketell now appears to have his own claim to fame: the Hudson resident hand-cycled 2,365 miles from Calais, Maine, to Key West, Florida. He finished the trek on Sunday, the same day he turned 17 years old.
Anketell believes he is the first person to hand-cycle the entire East Coast. He founded the nonprofit Adaptive Sports Awareness in 2015, and rode this summer to highlight the potential for people with disabilities to play sports.
“Anything is possible and you just need to have the right people there to encourage you and you can’t be setback by something,” Anketell said. “You just need to find a way to adapt it to your capabilities and you’ll be all set.”
Anketell was born with hereditary spastic paraplegia. His leg muscles aren’t strong enough for him to walk, so he uses a wheelchair. The condition hasn’t hampered his athleticism.
“I’ve been participating with sports for as long as I can remember,” Anketell said. “I started skiing at the age of 3 and never looked back from it.”
Anketell, who now coaches at Loon Mountain in New Hampshire, uses sit skis. He sits in a sled propped on a single ski, and steers with poles that have miniature skis on the end.
At Hudson High School, Anketell is on the varsity tennis team, using a special wheelchair and facing off against able-bodied competitors. He water skis and used to play basketball.
The East Coast trip took years to plan. He raised $50,000 for hotels and meals and trained with