Laureus Ambassador Grant Lottering defies the odds on another Im’Possible Tour in support of Laureus Sport for Good USA
South African extreme endurance cyclist and Laureus Ambassador Grant Lottering celebrated another year of his “second life” with his seventh Im’Possible Tour, but first in the USA.
Determined to keep showing what is possible after a near-death accident nine years ago, Lottering cycled 700 miles non-stop through California’s mountain roads, starting at Shaver Lake and concluding with a 6,420ft climb up Mt. Baldy while raising funds to support Laureus USA
In four days and barely three hours of sleep, he finished on June 4 – his 54th birthday. It added to the list of mountains he’s conquered through this Tour that include the French Alps and Pyrenees. But the biggest was overcoming a near-fatal accident in 2013 that many said he’d never ride again.
In 2013, Lottering crashed straight into a rock embankment during a World Championship preparation race in Trento, Italy. Doctors considered his extensive injuries too severe for him to cycle again. But he didn’t want the accident to defeat him and decided to be back on a bike in one year to finish the race that almost took his life.
After four months undergoing no less than six surgeries and 83 rehabilitation sessions, he rode his first of what became the annual Im’Possible Tour in July 2014, titled ‘From Death to the Top of the Alps in One Year.’
“I don’t try to see if I can ride farther than anyone else,” said Lottering, who was sponsored by UHSM Health Share. “That is not important. It’s to push my own personal boundaries. I know what I can do, and I believe I can do more. But I’m not doing it for me. I’m inspiring other people. And I’m trying to raise as much as I can while I’m doing it. That’s what keeps me going.”
Funds from this year’s Tour supported Laureus Sport for Good USA in ensuring kids across the country have access to sport programs that teach life skills. Ahead of the tour Grant visited Laureus USA grantee, Woodcraft Rangers in LA, to help inspire the next generation and to experience first-hand the work he is supporting through his Im’Possible tour.
The final climb of his California adventure was followed by floods of photo opportunities, partner handshaking and – finally – sitting down on a couch, clearly exhausted.
“When I was going up the Gibraltar road mountain, it was so hot,” Lottering said about his motivation. “It was 90-something degrees. My shoulder was really hurting. I was struggling. And I just started thinking back to my accident, the rehab I had to go through, the pain I endured and where I’ve come from. I don’t focus on what I’m feeling but what I’m thinking (the goal).”
“Now, millions of people have heard my story, and I think quite often put too much pressure on themselves (to recover quickly). But you have to start small, take baby steps before you start running.”
We are grateful to Grant for his support of Sport for Good and for using his platform to inspire and motive others to achieve their goals.