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Santa Barbara man gearing up for Beijing Paralympics

Posted at 4:00 PM, Feb 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-01 22:58:21-05

A Santa Barbara man heading to the Paralympics had his final prosthetic fitting Tuesday.

Paralympic snowboarder Andre Barbieri will be representing Team Brazil later this month in Beijing.

The 44-year-old and father of two says he's excited and nervous now that the upcoming competition is starting to sink in.

"With a family and work full time, I don't have time, all the time, to go to the snow, so it's a lot of training, cross training here, different sports, and then these extended training camps," Barbieri said.

Barbieri lost his leg during a snowboarding accident on Mammoth Mountain and says he can't wait to take the sport to the highest level.

"In the beginning when I lost my leg and I just used a regular leg, it was a little frustrating, but I adapted and was already having fun, but now, having, like she said, a Ferrari of legs, it makes all the difference. It's so much fun," Barbeiri said.

He adds that the competition is looking tough, but says he plans to go hard.

"So, 20 guys, most of them have done two Olympics, so, countless races. They have way more experience than I do. All that to say, it's gonna be hard," Barbieri said.

Saturday he will be heading up to a race in Canada before flying to Beijing on February 25.

"Just getting there was a win for me. I already… that's gold. It's the sport that cost me my leg, and I'm getting back to it at the highest level.," he said.

His prosthetic fitting took place at Hanger Clinic in San Luis Obispo where he works.

Barbieri is the only Brazilian snowboarder competing at the games.