Tyler Mosher

Tyler Mosher – Incomplete Paraplegic


On Paper Details:


Tyler Mosher broke his back in nine places on December 30, 2000. He was instantly paralyzed
from the waist down when his L-1 Vertebrae exploded causing Spinal Cord Damage. Post surgery, it became obvious his injury was incomplete and he would regain muscle use in some areas of his lower body. Although Tyler can walk, his internal organs are paralyzed, as are most people living with a spinal cord injury, along with most of the muscles in the back of his legs and buttocks. His back is re-built with titanium rods.  Tyler cannot run or jump but he can walk and much more.


Born: April 1, 1972

Games: Vancouver 2010 – Cross Country Skiing

2009 World Champion in Adaptive Snowboarding


Tyler’s Voice:


Whenever I tell my inspirational story of learning to walk again, exposing my own personal
emotional struggles, I am frequently reminded that so many people are living with a disability we do not see and they do not share.  I am happy to help others live authentically by showing them how to reach deep inside and believe in themselves.


I refused to live in a wheelchair when everyone said I would after a 10 meter fall left me 40% paralyzed below the waist. My story — “Getting Up and Falling Down until you don’t Fall Down”– is about setting goals and achieving them against great odds.


After becoming World Champion of Adaptive Snowboarding this past year, I look forward to
reaching my Paralympic Dream in Cross Country Skiing. I realize we can always dig a little deeper to reach our goals.


“There are several hundred things I cannot do now or have to do differently. However, there are several million things I look forward to and to do them well and with pride.”


Photographers Notes:

My first impression of Tyler was a person with a strong A type personality, from his strong voice and confident body language to his attitude to life:  Fully aware and conscious of his disabilities and weaknesses, Tyler says with complete confidence:” I can do anything; I have goals for the day and set out to achieve them.  I would do anything in my power to push the limits”


Tylerwas very cooperative during the photo session and agreed to pose in any way I had asked. But during the session, while I was fidgeting with camera and changing settings, he naturally created this pose exposing a softer, surrendering side.  As if subconsciously he chose to expose his vulnerability rather than strength.  I took the shot without him even being aware.  Looking at the image you cannot tell what Tyler’s disability is, you have to probe deeper to know – just like Tyler.  Later when we were going through the images to choose ‘just one’, it was obvious – this is the shot.

Sharon Tenenbaum