Paraplegic College Student Riley Martin Bungee Jumps in Wheelchair

Oct 1, 2013 3:14pm

Bungee jumping is thrill enough on its own, but one paraplegic college student in Canada made the jump off a nearly 200-foot-high bridge in his wheelchair.

Riley Martin, 21, of Kelowna, British Columbia, has been in a wheelchair for the past four years after a motorcycle accident left him paralyzed.

After a friend showed him a video of Rick Hansen, the Canadian paraplegic who wheeled through 34 countries in the 1980s to raise awareness about the potential of people with disabilities, bungee jumping, Martin was inspired to make the daredevil jump himself.

“I called the guys in Whistler to make an appointment and mentioned at the end that I was in a wheelchair and they said, ‘Oh, great, we’ll get the wheelchair harness for you’ and that’s all it was,” Martin, a business student at Okanagan College, told Goodmorningamerica.com of the surprisingly easy process.

On Saturday, Martin bungee jumped from a bridge about 170 feet above a river in Whistler, British Columbia.

“I was really nervous beforehand,” Martin admitted. “I saw it on the video before that it was pretty smooth but getting ready to do it myself, I was really worried.”

Martin says he required only a few extra harness straps than normal to make sure he was safely secured in his wheelchair. After he successfully bungeed down, he hooked a harness up to an extra rope and was pulled back up to the bridge.

“It was a really weird feeling to be dropped and having nothing hold on to me for that little bit until the cord catches on,” Martin said. “I have to admit that I closed my eyes for that little bit.”

“It was a good feeling that I was still able to do it, just the same as able-bodied people,” he said, adding that, while bungee jumping was originally something he wanted to do to just “cross off the list,” he may be up for it again.

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