Paraplegic Handcyclist Goes for a World Record This Weekend
It's his third, and he says, last attempt. Find out how you can watch it live!
Attila Domos isn't the kind of guy who gives up easily. After he was paralyzed from the waist down in 1993, he became a bicycle racer, winning marathons on his low-slung hand-bike.
In 2016 he unofficially broke the world record for a 24-hour hand-cycle race -- the track wasn't Guinness certified. In 2017 he tried again in California but had to drop out of the race. And last year he fell just 38 miles short of breaking the record when he ran out of steam on the Uber Test Track in Pittsburgh's Hazelwood neighborhood.
This weekend, at age 51, he's hoping the third time is the charm when he takes to the Uber track again and attempts to ride more than the current record, 403.8 miles, in 24 hours. The attempt starts Saturday at noon, and if all goes well, will end at noon on Sunday with a new world record. To learn a little more about him, here's a trailer he made for the documentary "Attila's Next Step":
"I'm cautiously optimistic," Domos told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette . He told the newspaper, this time, he's trying to better his chances by riding less in the heat of the day (last time he rode 5pm to 5pm), and reversing course so more of it is downhill. He's also made adjustments to his bike, and he's wearing his lucky Superman bike shirt.
Attila is a musician. Before his accident he played in a band that was on the verge of a record contract.
In addition to achieving his own goal, Domos is giving back. He's asking people to donate 10 cents per mile that he finishes to Transitional Paths to Independent Living (TRPIL), an independent living center in Washington, PA ( click here to donate to their GoFundMe campaign ). The running community is also behind him. "Attila has supported us for a number of years," said Troy Schooley, executive director of P3R, the group behind the Pittsburgh Marathon .
"The guy is a winner regardless of whether he breaks the record or not."
Domos is also on a mission to help the media help others better understand spinal cord injuries and the difficulties faced by people who are paralyzed. "People with paralysis don't have a choice about it and it is not as simple as working harder toward recovery," Attila explained. "If the press were to focus on the need for research, this could actually help find a cure and make people more educated about living with paralysis. We need more support for today's care, and tomorrow's cure."