Cleveland's Paul Leimkuehler: Amputee, Prosthetist, Skier
Losing a limb can be a devastating, life changing experience. After Paul Leimkuehler of Cleveland lost his leg during combat in World War II, he returned to Northeast Ohio and founded Leimkuehler Limb Company in 1948, which still serves patients today.
On a visit to Seven Springs Ski Resort, while his friends skied and he sat in the lodge, Paul met an Austrian ski instructor who told him about European amputees learning to ski.
Paul Leimkuehler hits the slopes with his outrigger skies ["Fresh Tracks"]
Leimkuehler quickly developed his own outriggers design from sawed-off crutches attached to shortened children's skis. With the first outriggers in the U.S., the word spread. Leimkuehler shared his discoveries with the amputee community and purposely didn't patent the device so that other amputees could copy it.
Leimkuehler's granddaughter, Katie, documents his amazing journey in a new documentary, "Fresh Tracks."