This is Josh. He beat cancer, raps, writes books and skis with one leg. What do you do?
By Lorin Drinkard
Josh (Sundquist), you were diagnosed with a rare bone cancer that led to a leg amputation at the age of 10. What was the doctors’ prognosis of your future recovery?
“They gave me a 50 percent chance of survival.”
You took up ski racing just a few short years later and in 2006 were named to the U.S. Paralympic Ski Team. What was your inspiration for hitting the slopes?
“After I lost my leg I found I was a little bit slower at most things than I used to be. Skiing was the one activity I could do as fast as anyone with two legs. … Skiing gave me the opportunity to be a competitive athlete.”
From your truly hilarious “Sh*t People Say to Amputees” video, it’s clear people like to present you with some redonkulous questions. What’s the most annoying question people ask you?
“A fully grown man at a bar in Georgetown asked when my leg would grow back. I wondered the same thing about his brain.”
In your book “Just Don’t Fall,” you recount everything from being homeschooled and playing soccer to training in the Rockies without the it’ll-make-you-sick sugar coating on top. Is it important to be truly honest about real obstacles you’ve encountered?
“Maybe not if you are talking about, say, a first date. But if you are writing a memoir, then yes. Whether it’s in a speech or in my book, I just want to share an honest, relatable story, and then let you decide what it means to you or your life.”
“1mt1mt” (one more thing, one more time) is a pretty rad racing—and life— motto. When did you first develop it? How have you seen 1mt1mt make a difference in your life, and the lives of others?
“About two years before the Paralympics, my coach told me that my chances of making the team were one in a million. When I was skiing, I wrote that motto on the tip of my skis, and as I’ve shared that story in my speeches, … it seems [to] resonate with people. Sports teams embroidered it on their jerseys, students painted it on their walls, and five people have sent me photos of a “1mt1mt” tattoo.”