Extreme athlete from Clovis beats all odds

FRESNO, Calif.

11 years ago Elias lost part of his left leg. He said, "As weird as this sounds this is the best thing that's happened to me."

Elias said he ignored a severe allergy to nicotine. "I smoked my leg off." But he wasn't about to give up the sports he's always enjoyed with his family.

The 39-year old Elias is a blur on the slopes, taking part in snowboard and skate competitions around the country. Buddy explained, "I had no choice. It was either give up, show that example to my kids, which is something I would never do in a million years or it was to devise something that would allow me to snowboard and that's where the wonder rig came in."

The wonder rig can be easily attached onto the board. Local company Blue Dolphin lightened Buddy's design so he could resume snowboarding after another surgery three years ago. "I have a neuroma at the very bottom of my stump which clicks every time I walk so it's extremely painful to walk so I use that prosthetic very little."

The prosthetic leg shows off Buddy's sponsors but he can only use it for about three hours a day. "I get in that thing and I literally feel like a disabled person. You put me in my crutches and I feel like a three-legged cheetah Dale. I could race you and beat you. I guarantee."

Buddy's especially moved though when he teaches disabled kids at China Peak how to shred. He explained, "I bawl every time. I cry like a baby. I go over to the parents and give them a big ol' hug. They hug and tell me this is the best thing they've ever seen their kid do."

Buddy's uncomfortable though when people call him an inspiration. Still, "Most of you two-legged guys can't even keep up with me."

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