Born into a military family in Spokane, Washington, Sean Halsted followed his father into the Air Force. After graduating from Washington State University, he began his Air Force training where he quickly earned himself the nickname, ‘Phantom’. Sean had always been extremely active and was known for his love of adventure. “I used to have to jump out of a plane at 10,000 feet to be happy”, said Sean.
But when Sean fell 40 feet from a helicopter during an Air Force training exercise, the accident left him paralyzed. As he struggled to come to terms with the fact that his life might be spent in a wheelchair, Sean thought, “If this is what my life is going to be like I don’t want it.”
Then one day he let himself be talked into attending a VA Winter Sports Clinic in Aspen, Colorado. That decision changed Sean’s life forever. Once he saw all the athletes with so many different disabilities achieve feats he didn’t believe possible, Sean knew in his head and his heart, “That’s going to be me!”
Since then, life has changed dramatically for Sean. Today he’s a regular competitor on the adaptive Cross Country Skiing World Cup circuit. Sean will be proudly representing TeamUSA in Cross Country Skiing at the 2010 Winter Paralympics in Vancouver, Canada.
While his quest for gold is certainly a focus and an important goal for Sean, as the father of young twins and an infant daughter his “number one priority is to be a good dad.” Sean also realizes how important he can be as a role model in helping others recover from a spinal cord injury. “Hopefully I can be a shining example. I want people to see [what’s] possible”.
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