University of Oregon

Department of Product Design



Sgt Leo CurtisSargent Leo Curtis

Wheelchair Fencing

  • Joined the military at 18
  • 21 years active duty
  • 2004 hit by IED
  • 28 surgeries
  • 6 month fencing
  • 2nd in the nation

Student team

Natasha Michalowsky, Rebecca Swofford, Teressa Hamje, Michael Roy, Thane Lochtie

Anthony DavisTony Davis


  • U.S. Navy Veteran
  • Paralympic Rower
  • Rescue Diver
  • 5 years in navy
  • 18 months in combat
  • "so others may live"
  • paralyzed from the waist down
  • broken spinal column
  • told he would never walk again
  • fastest adaptive rower in the USA

Student team

Michael Bartell, Elizabeth Hampton, Daniel Nicholson, Timothy Ploeger, Isamu Jarman


Kevin PannellKevin Pannell


After 18 months of rehabilitation and working at the Pentagon, Kevin left the service in 2007.

Kevin tested his abilities and started becoming more interested in athletics.

He came to Oregon in 2008 after visiting the state for the Clackamas Whitewater Festival.

Kevin tried variations of disabled athletics, but he was determined to be a stand-up amputee snowboarder.

He can do almost any run, but has complications that a normal snowboarder doesn’t have, such as:

  • no steering ability with his back foot
  • standing up from a sitting position
  • stability
  • balance
  • temperature
  • pressure around his legs

Kevin rides a typical snowboarding setup and takes pride in this. He wants to show others that he can do anything anyone else can but without legs.

Kevin is able to snowboard with the help of his prosthetic legs. These legs are specially designed for adventure sports such as mountainbiking and snowboarding. They can cost between $30,000 and $50,000 apiece.  In addition to these technical prosthetics, there are a few other ways Kevin customizes the sport to his needs.

Kevin needs to have access to his prosthetics while he snowboards and because of this he wears Gore Tex shorts while on the mountain. More than just a practical matter, Kevin likes the attention he gets when his prosthetics are visable.

Though he doesn’t need to adjust much when riding, he does need tools when it is necessary.Ski poles are essential to Kevin’s ability to snowboard. He uses them to lift himself from a seated position by digging them into the snow and pushing himself up. Kevin also uses the poles for balance and to switch from toe side to heel side. He said he likes dragging the poles behind him as he rides. He’s a “cruiser”.

Student team

Nathan G Schultze, Nitchakarn Sidthilaw, Joel Swenson, Allison Rastetter, Tony Kan