Cypress California, January 8, 2010 – Yamaha motocross, Supercross, and Supermoto legend Doug Henry added another chapter to his amazing career with a bronze medal in the inaugural Adaptive SnoCross event at the 14th Winter X Games in Aspen, Colo., on Sunday, Jan. 31. Driving a modified Yamaha FX Nytro snowmobile, Henry was the only paraplegic athlete in the six-rider field but flew through the six-lap main event within striking range of a Silver medal before finally settling for Bronze. Yet Henry has every reason to be satisfied, because he now adds the Winter X Games medal to the Gold and Bronze medals he previously earned in Supermoto competition at the Summer X Games.
Henry is widely known for his motorcycle racing, including debuting Yamaha's revolutionary YZ400F in 1997 and being the first rider to win a Supercross race on a four-stroke. But he's also a longtime recreational snowmobile enthusiast, and keeps a production FX Nytro at his home in the northeast. When an ESPN producer asked him last fall to participate in the first-ever Adaptive SnoCross event at the Winter X Games 14, he agreed immediately. Bolstering the seat padding, and adding straps and bungee cords to keep him seated over jumps, Henry managed a couple of practice days at Pit X in New York before heading to Aspen.
In Colorado, the Adaptive SnoCross racers got in two practice sessions on Saturday and a morning warm-up before Sunday's noontime event. When the flag dropped Henry used the FX Nytro's four-stroke power to get to the first turn near the front of the pack, then rolled the first double jump that he determined was too sketchy to take at the angle required. With this he slipped back to mid-pack and then set about improving his position throughout the event. By the last lap Henry had advanced his Yamaha right to the back bumper of silver medalist Jim Wazny, but ran out time to make the pass. Mike Schultz, an experienced snowmobile racer and amputee, took the Gold.
"The hardest thing today was the rough track, which made it difficult for me," Henry revealed after the event. "I was the only paraplegic in the event, and the only one strapped in, sitting down and hammering through the bumps the whole way. But the most rewarding thing was getting a medal! I'm also thankful to OTSFF Sports Marketing in Canada for letting me use their sled for the event. And thanks to Yamaha for continuing to support me with all these endeavors that keep coming up!"