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Wheelchair sky-diving with 9Lives

9Lives Adventures

We are Alive. We are Individual. We are ABLE.

This is the motto of the Canadian adventure disability tourism agency 9Lives Adventures. The company is run by Karim Ladki, a man who caters to the adrenaline junkies of the disability community.  His company offers things like accessible bungy jumping, sky diving, gliding, surfing, and a host of other extreme winter and summer sports.

“The term “disabled” [has] lost all meaning to me.” says Karim on his website. Karim experienced a C7 spinal chord injury and was wheelchair bound while he recovered.  Through his experiences he met Matt Thola whom he describes as the, “mirror of myself; he is adventurous, confident and infected with what people call “the travel bug”. We are the same age, share the same humor and bear the same titanium cages and scars. The only real physical difference between us is his wheelchair.”

This friendship sparked Karim’s interest in accessible adventurous travel and the lack thereof in the travel industry. In Karim’s words, “the adrenaline-filled itinerary we craved hadn’t evolved from the catered cruise and bus tours boasting accessibility and safety.”  9Lives was born out of a desire to cater to additional need in the community.

Wheelchair sky-diving with 9Lives
Photo from 9Lives Adventures

The company boasts the ability to get you to, “the tallest, highest, longest and most adrenaline-pumping points of the globe.”  The company has enjoyed wide media coverage as a result. The Rick Hansen Foundation has recognized them as “difference makers” and they participated in Hansen’s 25th anniversary relay.  9Lives also organized and sponsored Canada’s first adaptive skateboarding competition this past year.

Matt and Karim are an unstoppable pair!  With support and publicity they believe that 9Lives can become the motivational tool of our generation for people living with limited mobility and help in the breakdown of pre-set social limitations.

Any takers on planning a vacation with 9Lives? I think one of their winter sport packages might be just what the doctor ordered to recover from the winter blues! What do you guys think? See any adrenaline fueled adventures in your near future?


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