Leo Sammarelli

Paralyzed hiker climbs steep mountain in Vancouver using only his arms

Boxer Leo Sammarelli gave a whole new meaning to the word "grind" when he climbed up Vancouver's Grouse Grind on October 5 using only his arms.

The former national boxing champion became paralyzed from the waist down after a tragic accident in 2017.

Now, Sammarelli is proving that you really can do anything if you put your mind to it — including a six-hour slog up a notoriously difficult mountain.

Sammarelli ascended the 2,800-foot climb with some help from his brother and a friend holding his legs.

Through his feat, Sammarelli has raised more than $6,500 for the Westcoast Wheelchair Adapted Boxing and Fitness Association, which he founded in 2019.

He's currently paying for equipment and rehab space out of pocket, and he plans to put the money he raises toward continuing adaptive boxing awareness.

Sammarelli has spent years working to empower those living with disabilities by building up their physical capabilities through adaptive boxing.

He instructs others in wheelchairs on how to stay active and healthy, while also championing adaptive boxing as an Olympic sport.

Sammarelli reflected on his unprecedented wheelbarrow walk in an Instagram post, thanking everyone that helped him during his "difficult quest."

"Life is a Grind; we succeed and we fail," Sammarelli wrote on Oct. 6. "Sh*t happens whether you're in a wheelchair or not - but we all adapt."

Lead photo by

Leo Sammarelli



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