Wheelchair Palooza 2023 offers community to disabled Utahns

Aug 18, 2023, 1:00 PM | Updated: Aug 22, 2023, 10:40 am

Participants at the 2023 Wheelchair Palooza, sponsored by Utah Adaptive Alliance....

Participants at the 2023 Wheelchair Palooza, sponsored by Utah Adaptive Alliance. (Michael Camit, KSL NewsRadio)

(Michael Camit, KSL NewsRadio)

AMERICAN FORK, Utah – Living in a wheelchair won’t seem ideal to a lot of people, but Wheelchair Palooza 2023, put on by Utah Adaptive Alliance, attempts to challenges the stigma.

Easy to feel alone

Amanda King’s birth defect means she’s lived her life in a wheelchair. Growing up, she had no idea other people like her were out there.

“When I was a kid, I didn’t know there were other people who used wheelchairs until I was six or seven.”

Now, she’s the president of the Utah Adaptive Alliance. Every year, the group holds its ‘Wheelchair Palooza,’ a volunteer wheelchair skating event that brings wheelchair users together.

Shared successes at Wheelchair Palooza

This year the palooza was at Greenwood Skate Park in American Fork. There, wheelchair users from around the state had the chance to share their stories, connect with support groups, and work the ramps and transitions of the park.

Whether it’s a spinal cord injury, Spina Bifida, or another condition, kids and adults alike zoomed across the park or just chatted it up. They were using three-wheeled chairs, stunt chairs, and one even rode around in a specialized sports trike.

Featured among the group was Aaron “Wheelz” Fotherningham. He’s a Nitro Circus athlete who performs amazing stunts from his wheelchair.

“I just basically started riding skateparks for the love of it,” he said. “I wasn’t really trying to inspire anyone.”

Still, several of the kids at the palooza are there to meet Wheelz.

“It’s really cool, this event today,” he said. “Just to see so many kids and adults coming out here … it’s really just seeing the wheelchair more as a bike or skateboard, that it can be something fun!”

Fotheringham’s story reflects one of the main goals of the Palooza.

“When we have kids, adults, or newly-injured people here at the same time,” King said, “they can see and meet people at different parts of their life, or levels of their recovery, and do a lot with them.”

At the very least, no matter the situation, those who attend the yearly palooza won’t feel alone.

Related reading:



We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Outdoors + Recreation

There’s not a lot of options for dwarf fruit trees out there, but there’s enough in apples and ...

Michelle Lee

Growing dwarf fruit trees

One of the topics the KSL Greenhouse show has been covering a lot these past few weeks is gardening in small spaces. Last week, Hosts Taun and Maria decided to continue this discussion, with the focus on dwarf fruit trees.

2 days ago

Skiers compete in the 2022 Biathlon Youth and Junior World Championships at Soldier Hollow Nordic C...

Mariah Maynes

Soldier Hollow Nordic Center adopts renewable energy

Soldier Hollow Nordic Center's Clear Peaks Program is expected to provide 100% of the Nordic Center's energy needs.

3 days ago

Exercise particularly reduced risk of death for women, according to the data....

Madeline Holcombe, CNN

Women might lower their risk for cardiovascular disease by twice the amount as men with exercise

The benefits of exercise are great for everyone – but may be even better for women, according to a new study.

5 days ago

Catherine Rigby dies in avalanche...

Associated Press

Catherine ‘Kasha’ Rigby, a renowned telemark skier, dies in avalanche in Kosovo

Renowned skier and Utah resident, Catherine 'Kasha' Rigby died in an avalanche in Kosovo. She was 54 years old.

6 days ago

The first thing Sheriden wants you to consider is to only plant what you know you will eat. (Canva)...

Michelle Lee

Tips for gardening efficiently in small spaces

If you live on a small property, it can be challenging to build a nice, substantial garden for yourself. Fortunately, Horticulturist Sheriden Hansen has some tips.

9 days ago

three skiers on lift shown, snow in utah expected today...

Peter Johnston

Skiers rejoice! A foot of snow is coming to the northern Wasatch Mountains

Brighton, Park City and Solitude will see more than a foot of snow drop today, according to Ski Utah.

9 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Wheelchair Palooza 2023 offers community to disabled Utahns