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Minnesotans on the hunt for hardware at 2022 Winter Paralympics share stories of bravery, triumph

The Winter Games begin in 100 days in Beijing from March 4 to 13.

ST. CLOUD, Minn. — We're 100 days out from the 2022 Winter Paralympics in Beijing. 

One of the athletes hoping to take home some hardware is Mike Schultz. The snowboarder from St. Cloud won gold and silver at the 2018 Paralympics.

He started his professional career as a snowcross racer until 2008 when he crashed on a course and hurt his leg so badly it had to be amputated.

Fast forward four years and his competitiveness drove him to design his own prosthetic and take a stab at a new sport.

"By no means was it easy," said Shultz. "It was a very difficult and abrupt learning curve."

Schultz is training in the Netherlands and gearing up for another shot on the USA Paralympics snowboard team. He has months of qualifying competitions ahead all over the world before the big event March 4th.

"The opportunity to represent the United States of America on the world stage is a pretty amazing thing," said Schultz.

In 2018, he won gold in snowboard cross and silver in bank slalom - two events he'll compete in again, motivated by his now 8-year-old daughter.

"It really shows her work ethic and how great things can be if you work hard for it," said Schultz. 

The prosthetic Schultz once built is now a booming business. He now makes equipment for other adaptive athletes overcoming injury and living their own dreams.

"Even if I'm having a bad day myself on the race course, it's still a win," said Schultz. "For me, to be able to have a positive impact on somebody else's success, that's a pretty rad thing in itself."

Schultz even has a new book documenting his entire journey that's due out on January 18th.

But he's not the only Minnesotan trying to make the Paralympic team.

Fellow Minneapolis television news reporter, Courtney Godfrey, recently stepped back from her reporting duties to pursue competitive snowboarding.

Godfrey was in a boating accident four years ago that resulted in her left leg being amputated below the knee. She's training with Team Utah in Germany right now and says has a big hill to climb to qualify for Beijing.

But she's also using the experience to inspire others enduring similar trauma.