Event: Snowboard cross
Classification: Lower Limb Impairment
Date of Birth: July 20, 1984
Birthplace: Salt Lake City, Utah
Hometown: Ogden, Utah
Current Residence: Winter Park, Colo.
High School: Ben Lomond HS (Ogden, Utah) ‘02
Coach: Miah Wheeler
- 2014: Paralympic Winter Games, 3rd; U.S. Paralympics Snowboard Cross National Championships, 3rd; World Cup La Molina, 3rd run 1, 3rd run 2; World Cup Big White, 2nd run 1, 3rd run 2
- 2013: World Cup Maribor, 1st; World Cup Landgraaf, 2nd; World Cup Big White, 3rd; Europa Cup Landgraaf, 3rd
- 2012: ESPN Winter X Games, 1st; WSF World Cup Canada, 3rd
- 2011: WSF Para Snowboard Cross World Cup, Orcieres, France, 3rd; WSF World Cup, Lake Louise, Canada, 2nd; WSF World Cup, Wanaka, New Zealand, 3rd
Keith Gabel was introduced to snowboarding in 2000, and he quickly developed a love for the sport. In June 2005, Gabel was involved in an industrial accident that crushed his left foot. Following four blood transfusions, 26 hyperbaric treatments and a blood clot in his left lung, the doctors told Gabel that he would most likely watch his foot die. After two weeks, he made the decision to amputate his foot.
Gabel returned to his snowboard three months later. But it wasn’t until the 2010-11 season, his sixth season riding with an amputation, that he found out about competitive para snowboarding and began training with the National Ability Center in Park City, Utah. In the first international competition of his career, the WSF Snowboard Cross World Cup in Orcieres, France, he reached the podium with a third-place finish. Gabel progressed quickly through the international ranks, winning three additional World Cup medals before taking gold in the adaptive snowboard cross exhibition race at the 2012 Winter X Games. Gabel also won the 2013 International Paralympic Committee Snowboarding World Cup event in Maribor, Slovenia. As of Feb. 1, 2014 Gabel is tied for third in the IPC snowboarding world rankings alongside New Zealand’s Carl Murphy.
Gabel is also one of two Paralympic athletes that serve as ambassadors for Team for Tomorrow, a humanitarian program run through the United States Olympic Committee in which athletes offer assistance and support to communities in need through volunteerism and advocacy.