Paralyzed veteran from Highlands Ranch to compete


Former National Guard veteran and Highlands Ranch resident Craig Vogtsberger isn’t letting his foot-drop paralysis keep him from tackling the XTERRA USA Championship on Sept. 19 in Ogden, Utah.

Vogtsberger is an award-winning paratriathlete and qualified for his fifth national competition after his performance in the Physically Challenged Division of the Aug. 22 XTERRA Buffalo Creek race.

In 2001, he was crushed between two Humvees during a National Guard training accident, leaving him with a prognosis of spending the rest of his life in a chair.

“I suffered massive trauma to my entire body,” Vogtsberger said. “Among my injuries, I came away with spinal trauma, which led to foot drop paralysis.”

After seeing an advertisement for a local triathlon in 2006, he was inspired to regain confidence and was introduced to Allard USA’s BlueRocker in 2008. The advanced technology made of carbon fiver orthotic gave him the freedom to compete and return to the XTERRA USA National Championships.

“My Allard BlueROCKER has given me the freedom and confidence to take on any task or goal, including my upcoming championship competition in Ogden, UT,” he said.

Vogtsberger is a member of TeamUP, the first national team of people with lower-leg paralysis who participate in sporting and non-sporting events to spread awareness of their conditions and to encourage others to reclaim their lives.

He will be joined on the sidelines by national marathon runner and TeamUP Founder Beth Deloria.  Beth also found her saving grace a few years ago with an Allard USA brace, which helped her reach a goal of running 48 races in just 24 months.

“I know just the type of freedom Craig found through both perseverance, as well as an Allard USA brace,” said Beth. “When you stop being able to do the activities that have meaning for you-the very pursuits that made you who you are-you find yourself profoundly lost. By sharing my experiences and the knowledge that I’ve gained throughout my journey, I hope to help other athletes like Craig and myself avoid the frustrations and depression that the type of injuries that we have can result in.”

Among the causes for the paralysis associated with foot drop are cerebral palsy, stroke, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease, spinal cord injury and many other conditions.

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