- 2014 3rd Lucas Regional AZ – Round 3
- 2014 5th Lucas Regional AZ – Dash for Cash Round 2
- 2013 6th Place Ironman 70.3 California
- 2012 Completed 111 Mile El Tour De Tucson
- 2011 Completed 42 Mile El Tour De Tucson
- Gold Metal at 2009 Extremity Games
- 2009 X-Games Super X Adaptive
In 1998 George Hammel broke his back during a professional motocross race in southern California, he was defined as a paraplegic from his doctors and told he would be confined to a wheelchair for the duration of his life.
In 2012 George completed the 111 mile bicycle event El Tour De Tucson and 2013 Ironman 70.3 California, he now walks with the help of carbon fiber leg braces, and has participated in motocross events like X Games and Extremity Games.
The last 12 years of his life were completely different than his successes, but all together a miracle, and testament to the human will and strength.
George Hammel’s love of motocross began in 1990. For many years George raced nationwide, winning numerous races and championships. In 1998 George was racing his first professional national at Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernardino, CA., when the unthinkable happened, he made a mistake coming down a high speed hill and hit a large jump with too much speed ejecting him through the air and landing on his feet, com- pressing his body, shattering his L1 vertebrae, breaking both lower portions of his legs, both his arms, his pelvis, and fracturing his skull. The surgeons fused and inserted plates, from the T12 to the L2, furthermore, he was told he’d be a paraplegic for the duration of his life and of course, never walk again.
Determined to not only walk, but to compete again in motocross, George spent numerous years doing physical therapy, in which he regained some movement in his upper legs. Over the span of 5 years, he was able to start walking with the assistance of forearm crutches, and in the span of 7 years, walk on his own (with a large limp and the support of AFO lower leg braces). With a strong will power, he learned to walk again and started riding a bicycle as well as began riding motocross.
It has been a long and difficult journey and even after breaking 58 different bones throughout his racing career, through huge leaps, George was able to fulfill his passion and achieve his dream, he won a Gold metal at the 2009 Motocross Extremity Games (www.extremitygames.com), next he competed in the X Games (www.xgames.com) in the Super X Adaptive event, as well as the 111 mile El Tour De Tucson and Ironman 70.3 California
Last year, while racing motocross, he broke his back for the 3rd time, he burst the T11 vertebrae. Dr. Eric Sipos, an extraordinary knowledgable and skilled neurosurgeon, was able to perform the rebuilding of the vertebrae without having to insert extra metal or fusions, so as not to impede with the previous 1998 surgery. Unfortunately, this time, Hammel was told he would be unable to ride motocross again due to the weakness of the vertebras. However with George’s strength of character, he began riding road bicycles (without modifications), and with this, spiked Hammel’s competitive edge.
“Being paralyzed or disabled can be one of the most difficult things for any human to endure. Many are forced to live life in wheelchairs, needing assistance, etc. I was one of the lucky ones, I was given a miracle and was able to partially recover from a severe spinal cord injury after 7 years in a wheelchair and rehab.”
“I would like to be able to share my story to help inspire and show people that with hard work, dedication, and medical technology, life doesn’t slow down, it can offer just as much happiness and fulfillment as any able bodied human being. My journey has been filled with Highs and MANY Lows, but through it all, I am amazed what the human body can overcome. I would like to show people that they can achieve the impossible too!”