May 06, 2008 13:19 ET
Team Ossur Member Jeff Skiba -- The First Amputee in History to Clear Seven Feet in the Men's High Jump
A Banner Week for Paralympians
ALISO VIEJO, CA--(Marketwire - May 6, 2008) - Soaring to new heights seems effortless to
Jeff Skiba and never more so than on May 1, 2008, when the 24 year old U.S.
Paralympian set a new, unofficial men's high jump world record (men's F44
classification), thus becoming the first amputee in history to clear seven
feet at the 2008 Asuza Pacific Invitational in Los Angeles, California. All
at Ossur take pleasure in congratulating this remarkable below-the-knee
amputee and a Team Ossur member, as well.
Jeff jumped 2.15 meters (7 feet 1/2 inch), beating his previous world
record of 2.10 meters (6 feet 10 3/4 inches), but the height is an
unofficial Paralympic world record because the Asuza Invitational was not
an International Paralympic Committee (IPC) sanctioned meet.
On February 24, 2007, Jeff became the first Paralympic athlete to compete
at the U.S. Indoor Championships -- a USA Track & Field able-bodied
national championship event; an achievement made all the more remarkable
when you consider that he only has one leg.
"I am ecstatic to be the first Paralympic athlete to jump seven feet. A
lot of people have worked long and hard to help me achieve this and I am
grateful for all of the support," said Jeff.
Born without a fibula in his left leg due to a congenital defect known as
fibular hemimelia, doctors amputated his leg below the knee when he was
less than a year old. Jeff tried out for track in 6th grade and so began
his athletic career. In high school, a coach noticed Skiba playing
basketball (he can dunk!), encouraged him to join the track team and Jeff
delivered. At his first meet, he cleared 6'2" in the high jump event. The
following year -- 2001 -- at the Husky Indoor Invitational, he jumped 6'6
"This was a banner week for Paralympians and amputees all over the world,"
said Tabi King, marketing director for Ossur Americas. "Jeff flew over the
7 foot mark. Natalie du Toit took fourth place yesterday in the 10km at the
World Open-Water Swimming Championships, thus becoming the first
Paralympian to qualify for the Olympics. Bilateral amputee Oscar Pistorius
-- another Team Ossur member -- ranked as one of TIME magazine's 100 most
influential people in the world. I believe we can state, unequivocally,
that it is possible to live a life without limitations, and that these
young people are inspirations to us all."
Ossur (NASDAQ/OMX: OSSR) is a global leader in non-invasive orthopaedics
that help people to live a life without limitations. Its business is
focused on improving people's mobility through the delivery of innovative
technologies within the fields of braces, supports, prosthetic limbs and
compression therapies. A recognized "Technology Pioneer," Ossur invests
significantly in research and product development; its award-winning
designs ensuring a consistently strong position in the market. Successful
patient and clinical outcomes are further empowered via Ossur's educational
programs and business solutions. Headquartered in Iceland, Ossur has major
operations in the Americas, Europe and Asia, with additional distributors