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Sport Winter Paralympics: Sean Pollard goes from shark-attack victim to Paralympic snowboarder

06:52  07 march  2018
06:52  07 march  2018 Source:   msn.com

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Sean Pollard once went for a surf but didn't come back in one piece. He is now set for his Paralympic snowboarding debut, and he's not letting the shark attack define him.

Australian para- snowboarder Sean Pollard is competing in Pyeongchang after suffering life-changing injuries in a shark attack in 2014. Sean Pollard competes during the men’s snowboard cross run at the Pyeongchang Winter Paralympics Photograph: HANDOUT/Reuters.

a man that is standing in the snow© Provided by ABC Grandstand

Around 60 seconds. Maybe more. That's all it took for Sean Pollard's life to change.

"I went on a trip to Esperance with my girlfriend, Claire, and I went out for a surf and didn't make it back in one piece," Pollard said.

In October 2014, the then 23-year-old was attacked by two great white sharks while surfing. He fended them off but lost his left arm and right hand in the incident.

"I managed to survive it," Pollard said. "I was pretty lucky to get to hospital within an hour of the attack.

That's more than three litres of blood. The average adult body comprises about 4.5 to 5.5 litres.

The harrowing event, however, does not define Pollard. Nor does his disability or ability.

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But his character does.

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Sean Pollard - Australian who became a Paralympic snowboarder after shark attack . Winter Paralympics on the BBC. Venue: Pyeongchang, South Korea Dates: 9-18 March Time in Australian Sean Pollard does a good job of underselling the past three and a half years of his life.

Sean Pollard lost an arm in a shark attack and only saw snow for the first time in 2015 - now he has finished fifth and ninth at Pyeongchang 2018. His first Winter Paralympics in Pyeongchang have been a success, competing in a Related to this story. GB snowboarders fail to win medals.

"It's been a fairly steep recovery since then and I've learnt a lot about myself and the things I'm capable of," the 26-year old qualified electrician said.

Pollard's willingness to "try something new" saw him first attempt snowboarding in 2015; it was also the first time the lad from WA had seen snow.

His adaption to his new sport has been both swift and impressive.

"The best thing I get out of snowboarding, which is really similar to surfing, is that presence in the moment," Pollard said.

"That's why I love the sport so much because you're just there in the moment and everything else in your life just blurs out the faster you go."

Pollard's past few months have been a blur.

As part of the Games' qualification process, he's traversed the northern hemisphere in a journey that's encompassed the Netherlands, Finland, USA, Canada, Japan and now South Korea.

a close up of a person© Provided by ABC Grandstand

"I'm super happy to be named in the team," said Pollard, who will make his Winter Paralympic Games debut for Australia in Para-snowboarding.

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Sean Pollard was surfing in Australia in 2014 when he was attacked by two great white sharks , losing his Even in a Winter Paralympics filled with hundreds of inspiring tales, from war veterans who lost limbs on Snowboarders typically begin their runs by pushing off the top with a hand — but Pollard

From shark attack survivor to para- snowboarder : the Sean Pollard story. Britain's Menna Fitzpatrick wins her third medal at Winter Paralympics .

"I can't wait to walk out with my countrymen and be part of the spectacle."

Pollard's only been home on four occasions since November last year. Those precious moments when he's back on his turf, he enjoys time with his family and friends.

He's also discovered there's plenty of support from his local community.

"I'm stoked to represent Bunbury, it's an awesome hometown," he said.

Sun and surf still run through the sandgroper's veins, and he continues to enjoy swimming, snorkelling and surfing.

"I'll go out for a surf these days and I'll be happy to get back to my feet on one wave out of 20 just because it's so hard to paddle, and push up, and catch a wave," he said.

"It's really challenging. I pretty much go out and get dumped."

South Korea will provide a new set of challenges when the world's best para-athletes converge for the Games, starting on March 9.

Australia's team will compete across two disciplines: Para-alpine skiing and Para-snowboarding.

Pollard will feature in the two events in the Para-snowboarding — snowboard cross and banked slalom.

Both comprise three runs per competitor, with their fastest time recorded to the overall finishing order.

"My results are pretty similar in both events but I've probably got a bit more of an advantage in the banked slalom, though, because of my surfing background," Pollard said.

Depending on the length of the course, each competitor should be aiming for the minute mark, for each run, in both disciplines.

Around 60 seconds. Maybe more.

In sport — and life — every second counts.

Perth boys bitten by animal not a shark .
A shark warning at Perth beaches has been downgraded after authorities found bites inflicted on two 10-year-old boys were not caused by a shark.Whatever creature bit two 10-year-old boys on their legs at a Perth beach was not a shark, authorities have confirmed.

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