- Edi Smockum
- 0207 947 5926
Ex RAF, double Paralympian, downhill sit skier and adventurer
Sean grew up in Redcar, Middlesbrough. Sport and, in particular, competition have always been the mainstay of his life. As a youngster, Sean was a champion Gymnast for the North East, played Badminton for his county and competed internationally as a BMX racer. He joined the RAF in 1989 for what he thought would be his perfect job as a Physical Training Instructor. This gave him the opportunity to travel, try out new sports and teach these sports to other personnel in the Armed Forces.
In 2000, while teaching a group of pilots how to ski, Sean had a freak accident that crushed a vertebra in his back, left him paralysed from the waist down and a wheelchair user for the rest of his life. Faced with a life that could be much curtailed from his previously active lifestyle, Sean was determined that sport would continue to play a major role in his life.
By 2005, Sean was World Champion Water Skier and later went on to win a Gold in World Cup Downhill Sit-Ski racing, become a Winter XGames medalist and be a double Paralympian in downhill sit skiing – competing at the Turin Paralympic Games in 2006 and Vancouver in 2010.
Sean was part of the record-breaking Channel 4 coverage of the Winter Paralympic Games in Sochi 2014 commenting on the ski racing as well as the opening and closing ceremonies. He also performed – looking as if he was on fire – as the 'secret' skier in the Channel's promotional films that lead up to the Games.
In April 2014 Sean and a team of three other ski kiting adventurers attempted the world first crossing of the Icelandic icecap Vatnajokull with a paraplegic team member using snow kites as part of the 4People6Legs challenge. They aim to complete the challenge and raise money for spinal cord research charity Wings For Life.