Jim “Waz” Wazny of Merrill, Michigan took the Bronze Medal in the ESPN Winter X Games Adaptive Snocross on Sunday, January 30.
An above-knee amputee, Jim Wazny traveled over 2100 miles to be there and was competing with a broken wrist. “I severely dislocated my wrist and ruptured my hamstring on my good leg in a race a couple of weeks prior to X Games,” said Waz. “Nothing could keep me from competing here. After taking Silver last year, I really wanted to come back and take home another medal.”
In a tight race, Waz claimed the No 3 spot in the first lap when a crash took him out early. “I had a pretty good start and was looking to pass Doug (Henry),” he explained. “As I was committed to jump the 2nd double in the down hill section, Doug checked up and veered over into my line, so I had to try and slow down once I was already committed.”
It was a tough crash and put Waz in last place.
“After the crashed, I didn’t stop to think about it” Waz said. “I just got back on my sled and took off. I knew I had a lot of catching up to do.”
With three laps to go, Waz’s skill and passion shined through as he passed riders on every lap and every turn. “As I started passing guys, I thought ‘ya know, I’m still in this and I have a chance to medal.'”
On the final lap with time running out, Waz passed nearly everyone to take over the No 2 spot. Nearing the finish line on the last rhythm section, he said “my wrist hurt so bad, I had to slow down and that’s when Jeff (Tweet) passed me.”
“Overall, I’m really happy that I didn’t give up,” said Waz. “I would have loved to have taken the Silver, but I’m just really proud that I was able to come back from the crash and medal. I fought hard for this.”
“All of my success the past years would not be possible without the support of AJ Filippis and the entire W&F Race Team. Brian Richardson has always had my sled running great no matter the conditions,” said Waz. “I also could not compete at this level without the support of all my great sponsors: Wright & Filippis, Woody’s, HMK, Ossur, Ski-Doo, Scott USA, Fly Racing, CMP, Alpinestars, DP Brakes, TekVest, Whiplash, Kicker, Sunstar, C&A Pro, PowerMadd, No-Toil, DID Racing, ADN, and OGIO.”
Next up for Jim Wazny is wrist surgery on Tuesday, February 1, which he intentionally scheduled for after the X Games race.