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Local triple amputee skateboarding star to represent people with disabilities at X Games

Posted: 5:32 AM, Jul 31, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-31 14:42:33-04
triple amputee skateboarding star

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Justin Beauchesne will never forget the first time he rode a skateboard.

“It felt like freedom,” the triple amputee said, taking a break from tearing up the skate park at St. Pete’s Campbell Park.

“Man, it was awesome, so much better than I ever expected,” he said.

When Justin was just 18 months old. he lost both arms and part of a leg to meningitis.

“For so long, doctors and nurses and teachers were telling me I can’t do things,” he said.

But Justin has always been a fighter, an athlete who craved challenges.

When he was 12, he played Tony Hawk’s skateboarding video game. It wasn’t too long before he was trying out a real skateboard.

“My mom wasn’t happy,” he said laughing. “But being able to get on a piece of wood, and just feel that freedom, was euphoric.”

Now 31, Justin will make an appearance at this weekend’s X Games, which air on ABC and ESPN.

But skateboarding is really just a way for Justin to achieve his true passion: helping others.

His nonprofit Amp-Ventures gets amputees active in such sports as surfing and paddleboarding.

“When I was six, I remember telling my aunt that I wanted to help people,” he said. “And now that I’m older, I don’t want to stop.”