Paralyzed from the waist down at the age of 16 in a traumatic car accident, Greg Hockensmith has spent the ensuing years challenging boundaries and redefining what it means to be in a wheelchair. A paralympian and handcycling world champion, Greg joined GSA for his latest challenge--climbing Mount Fuji on a hand cycle, and surpassing all expectation, he hit the summit in just 13 hours.
The idea was hatched in Tucson, Arizona between Greg and Richard DeBernardis, himself no stranger to challenges and world records. After entering the Guinness Book of Records as the first person to cycle the perimeter of the United States, Richard set his eyes east to repeat the feat in Japan. This led to a lifelong love of Japan and a yearly pilgrimage to Fuji, which he has climbed no less than seventeen times. Richard is now President of the Perimeter Bicycling Association of America (PBAA), and Team Captain of GSA Tucson.
Once acclimatized at the fifth station, Greg set out at 5:30am on Tuesday, 7 August. Two days had been scheduled for the attempt, so it came as some surprise when Greg hit the halfway point around midday and indicated he wanted to push on to the top.
The event was organized to promote the concept of health and wellness, to carry the Ecoflag (a symbol for environmental awareness in sport) to the summit and, in Greg's own words, "through spreading the story of triumph and success I hope thousands of others will be inspired to create greatness in their own lives; on and off the bike.Ebr>