Adaptive sports equipment runs the gamut from custom adaptation to unauthorized modification


Photo: Handbike on a street. One leg of an athlete can be seen beside the bike; Copyright: Andi Weiland |

When talking about assisitve devices for sports, handbikes and sports wheelchairs come to mind first. Meanwhile, however, the offers on the auxiliary means market are just as varied as the sports that are practiced by people with disabilities.

Materials, data, technology – Optimize what can be optimized

Photo: Markus Rehm in the air at the long jump competition at the Paralympic Games in Rio 2016; Copyright: Andi Weiland |

Markus Rehm sees himself as a prosthesis jumper and he understands why his achieved values should only be compared with those. Nevertheless, he would like to have joint competitions with athletes without disabilities.

"Technical doping" and the case of Markus Rehm

Photo: A sketch showing an athlete with a monoski; Copyright:

In alpine sports it's like in (car) racing: Every driver has basically the same vehicle and yet, for example, the seat is adapted to only one driver, just as the technicians try to adjust the vehicle perfectly to the track and his driving style together with him.

Unique disability, unique assistive technology

Photo: Anne Hofmann; Copyright: private

Read more editorials in Topic of the Month's July here: