RENSSELAER, New York — Doug Henry is a testament to how a professional athlete who acquires a disability can come back from injury to enjoy sports to the fullest. STRIDE welcomes him as an athlete, mono-skier and Honorary Board member.
One of the most popular AMA motocross racers ever, Henry had his first major success in 1993 as a member of Team Honda, where he claimed the 125 East Supercross and the 125 National Championship. In 1994, he repeated as champion in the nationals He moved to the premier 250cc division for 1995, where he was immediately competitive, winning supercross overall, before a devastating injury at Budds Creek, MD ended his season. Henry slipped off the back of the bike on the face of a hill, inadvertently applying full throttle, launching him to fall from nearly 80 feet in the air to flat ground. Henry’s back was broken, but miraculously he suffered no paralysis in that accident.
Amazingly, he fought back to race again. Team Yamaha took a chance on him for the 1996 season. By the end of the Nationals, Henry was winning once again. In 1997, Yamaha approached Henry with the idea of riding their prototype YZM400 four-stroke in competition. He posted unprecedented top-5 finishes at the first few Nationals. Tragedy struck Henry yet again suffering two broken wrists. But Henry battled back again.
He gained national attention once again by winning the gold medal in the 2005 X-Games Supermoto race, and bronze in 2006. Henry was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2005. He broke his back on March 4, 2007, in a Supermoto race. He now suffers paralysis from the waist down, and is working very hard toward yet another recovery.
Doug Henry began skiing with STRIDE at their Connecticut based program, Ski Sundown last spring. He uses a piece of equipment called a mono-ski, a seated device that allows wheelchair users to sit and independently ski using outriggers on their arms. Athletic skills run in his blood, and he skis comfortably on black diamond terrain after only four lessons. “After spending the day at Jiminy Peak mono-skiing, people would come up to me and ask questions. I found myself endorsing the program to other potential families and convincing them to come try skiing with STRIDE” says Henry, ” I even recently tried sled hockey because of STRIDE”
Henry endorses the STRIDE program, and will undoubtedly compete again, just in a different sport and modality. Mary Ellen Whitney, STRIDE Skiing Director spent the day with Henry on the slopes, “It’s a joy to see the light turn on, and excitement and hope return to someone’s face through sports. Doug has a competitor’s spirit, and he most definitely has the potential of competing at an elite level if he chooses to. STRIDE would like to take him down that path.” says Whitney.
Doug Henry Acheivements:
1993 AMA 125 Motocross Champion
1993 AMA 125 East Supercross Champion
1994 AMA 125 Motocross Champion
1998 AMA 250 Motocross Champion
1998 AMA Professional Athlete of the Year
25 AMA Supercross/Motocross overall wins
2005 Gold Medal X-Games
2006 Bronze Medal x-Games
2006 Motorcycle Hall of Fame