4 DECADES OF DETERMINATION, BREAKING BARRIERS, SETTING RECORDS & USING TECHNOLOGY TO GO RACING.
As human beings, we all yearn and crave that independence. But mobility is a key aspect of being able to enjoy life to the fullest.
Switzerland’s Rainer Küschall has been one man that has championed such an ethos for four decades, having sustained a C4-C6 back injury at the age of 16 after a skiing accident.
Back in the 1960s, treatments for such injuries were not at all commonplace, meaning Küschall was bed-ridden for two years, before his life as a tetraplegic through a difficult rehabilitation stage followed.
His decision to give up an office clerk job in 1976 was the turning point in his life, which has allowed him to not only enjoy his life, but also made sure that he has been able to showcase that nothing can hold people back.
Rainer was a very competitive Paralympian, taking a total of 21 Paralympic medals over six Summer Games between 1968 and 1992.
He majored in singles and doubles table tennis, as well as wheelchair racing, which included all distances, and was world champion five times.
“Nothing can destroy the will of a sportsman”
But it was in 1985 where he made a true difference for wheelchair users worldwide through his firm, Küschall AG, by creating the “Competition” lightweight wheelchair.
The revolution in both packaging and design enabled the possibility for better seating position and mobility, as well as a 56% reduction in weight through the use of a monotube design.
Rainer has a new passion now, apart from the work in research and development in Küschall AG’s product lines, which sees him compete in the world of motorsport.
One of the first cars Rainer raced was a Cobra fitted with hand controls.
He then went on to race with a Crossle 9S.
Watch this video...
Even with his restricted movement, he has a specially-adapted Crosslé 9S sportscar, which enables him to race against able-bodied competitors on a level-playing field.
Even with it having a five-speed transmission, his restricted movement is fully catered for, even down to having to change gears through a specially-adapted mouthpiece, with a motorbike-style lever to brake and accelerate.
Determination is very much a key factor in his will to push the boundaries and move forward in life, no matter what hand people are dealt with.
In June of 2013, a fantastic achievement happened for this Swiss inventor.
He took his very first win in the Crosslé, which was the culmination of putting in the effort, and learning as he went along, making it work for him.
Rainer’s first win at Hockenheim
His work has inspired others, when it comes to being able to compete on a level playing field out on track.
Rainer is an exemplary icon, and is well ahead of his time, in terms of both the theoretical and practical application, no matter what he puts his mind to.
Rainer Küschall is a driven individual and a pioneer in what he has done, leading the way for others to follow…..
Article written by Alex Goldschmidt - photos and videos supplied by Rainer Kuschall.