Yamaha legend Doug Henry captured a gold medal in the Sit Down Adaptive SnoCross race at the Winter X Games 15 in Aspen, Colo. on Sunday, January 30. Using the torque of his Nytro RTX snowmobile, the former motocross and Supercross star grabbed the holeshot, then chased eventual winner Mike Schultz until a seat clip broke, forcing Henry to roll the monstrous doubles instead of vying for the overall win against Stand Up Adaptive drivers. He nonetheless finished sixth overall and first in his class to take the gold.
Along with his friend Steve Serafini, and Yamaha’s Brian Amundson and Kody Malmborg, Henry designed and constructed a special adaptive seat that uses a Fox FLOAT X shock absorber to cushion the paraplegic’s body from big hits. Far more than just a shock-absorbing seat though, Henry’s new development also leans from side to side, allowing him to use body English to help steer the snowmobile just like able-bodied drivers. As a result, Henry felt confident and excited when the Winter X Games 15 final lined up on Sunday afternoon.
This confidence – and the huge torque of the Yamaha’s four-stroke engine – paid off as Henry accelerated hard off the line and up the start hill, getting to the first turn ahead of the pack. But eventual winner Schultz soon pulled even on an outside line, forcing Henry to go inside over a big section of jumps. Battling for the lead, Henry over-jumped one of them and took a hard hit upon landing, breaking an essential seat clip. “Once I get disconnected from the sled I’ll separate from it in the air,” he explained later. “So from there on I had to roll everything, going as fast as I could while staying in the seat.”
Growing up in New England, snowmobiles always played a part in Henry’s life during winter. And although he no longer races motorcycles, the sleds represent a fantastic avenue to channel his competitive drive. “I really love snowmobiling, and that includes riding SnoCross, jumping and going fast,” he added. “Most of all, I love to push myself.” Congratulations on your Winter X Games gold medal Doug, from everyone at Yamaha!