Bradley Kendell: “When I sail, I leave my Wheelchair in the Dock”

Bradley Kendell is a U.S. Paralympic sailor. In 2003, he was the only survivor in a deadly airplane accident which killed Bradley’s father and a family friend, despite losing both of his legs.

When Brad Kendell sails, he leaves his wheelchair on the dock. He is drawn by the freedom of being on the water, the way the wind brushes through his hair and pushes him forward with the sail.

But after opportunities for competition at a higher-level are taken away, Kendell is left to wonder what this means for him as well as the disabled sailing community.

Bradley Kendell bio

Name: Brad KendellPosition: CrewSport: SailingClassification: SonarHeight: 6-0Weight: 178DOB: 2/8/1981Birthplace: Clearwater, Fla.Hometown: Clearwater, Fla.High School: Clearwater High School (Clearwater, Fla.) ‘99College: University of South Florida ’03, Communications Paralympic Experience

  • One-time Paralympian (2016); One-time medalist (1 silver)
  • Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, silver (three-person Sonar)

World Championship Experience 

  • Most recent: 2016 – Gold (Sonar)
  • Years of participation: 2006, 2007, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016
  • Medals: 1 (1 gold) 

Personal: In 2003, Kendell was flying with his father and a friend back to Clearwater from Jacksonville, Florida. They were in a small plane and it crashed, killing his father and friend and leaving him close to death. Ultimately, he lost both his legs. Having started sailing at age six at the Clearwater Yacht Club, sailing was an obvious choice for Kendell to get back into sports after the plane crash….Married to Melissa Kendell…Has one daughter, Piper…Is the co-founder The Never Say Never Pirate Camp…The camp is centered on teaching the sport of sailing to children with disabilities…Main hobby is fishing.

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