Sam Kavanagh

Date of Birth: 
April 20, 1979
Bozeman, MT
5' 11"
U.S. Skiing

U.S. Paralympic Nordic Ski Team

On January 1, 2005 while backcountry skiing in Montana, 2012 Paralympic hopeful Sam Kavanagh was caught in an avalanche that resulted in a severe compound fracture of his left tibia and fibula. While losing a close friend in the accident, Sam spent two days in a tent with his leg duck-taped to a shovel, dodging massive blood loss, kidney failure and life threatening infections in his leg fracture, before he could be airlifted to a hospital. After nine surgeries, including the amputation to his left leg below the knee, Sam received a prosthesis and continued his active lifestyle of cycling, hiking and skiing. Having always been a competitive cyclist and skier, the dream of becoming a Paralympian was born.

Sam won a bronze medal at the London Paralympic Games in the Para-Cycling Team Sprint, and is now ready to trade the bicycle for a pair of skis and train for the 2014 Paralympics in Sochi.

The Speaker

         •  Personal Story

         •  Overcoming Obstacles

         •  Commitment & Dedication

         •  Life Perspective

“Sam Kavanagh’s story of tragedy turned to triumph is one that will take you on a roller coaster of emotions.  Through his distinct gift of public speaking, Sam’s story will make you laugh and cry – but most of all, it will make you respect his courage, admire his perseverance and appreciate his passion for life.  Sam possesses a unique ability to relate to his audience and will leave a lasting impression on anyone who hears his uplifting story.” 

- Matt Benchich, The Hartford