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Winter X Games skier earns gold with monoski developed at Lehigh

On Thurdsay, 53-year-old New Hampshire native Chris Devlin-Young became the oldest athete ever to take home X Games gold after a dominating performance in the Mono Skier X final.

He found success in Aspen thanks in part to a monoski that grew out of one built for a student who broke his back while studying at Lehigh.

"I had a new monoski made by DynAccess out of [Bethlehem], Pennsylvania," "I had fast skis ... faster than everybody else's. I have a good crew of support people, the best seat in the world and the best suspension in the world, and it all came together."

After Brian Kaplun '06 lost use of legs after injuring his spine in a mountain biking accident, Lehigh professor Joachim Grenestedt suggested that he try a monoski, -- a bucket seat sitting on metal frame atop a single ski.

Grenestedt, alongside Lehigh mechanical technician Bill Maroun, developed a better prototype that outperformed many other monoskis already in the market.

Grenestedt and Maroun's monoski continued to evolve and was eventually made available to the public through the Bethlehem-based company DynAccess Limited. DynAccess is led by its president, Channy Tokura, Grenestedt's wife.

For Devlin-Young, he credits the company in his success and opening a world of opportunity for other athletes with disabilities.

"I had fast skis, faster than everybody else's," Devlin-Young said after his X Games finish. "I have a good crew of support people, the best seat in the world and the best suspension in the world, and it all came together ... It gives an opportunity for the world to see that people with disabilities can do some pretty amazing things. Whether you start with a disability as a kid or later in your years, you can still get out and have a lot of fun."

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