Aaron Fotheringham

Aaron Fotheringham
Aaron Fotheringham.jpg
Personal information
Full name Aaron James Fotheringham
Nickname(s) Wheelz
Born (1991-11-08) November 8, 1991 (age 28)
Las Vegas, Nevada
Residence North Las Vegas NV
Height 181 cm (5 ft 11 in)
Spouse(s) Charlee Wilson Fotheringham (m. 2018)
Website http://www.aaronfotheringham.com
Country United States of America
Sport WCMX
Club Nitro circus
Achievements and titles
National finals 2005 Vegas AmJam BMX

Aaron Fotheringham (born November 8, 1991) is an extreme wheelchair athlete who performs tricks adapted from skateboarding and BMX. Although he used crutches early on, he has been a wheelchair user full-time since the age of eight. He would watch his brother riding his BMX at the skate park, and one day his brother told him that he should try riding his chair in the park, an event of which Fotheringham said "One day my brother was like, ‘It’d be really cool if you dropped in on your chair, do you want to try it?’” My dad was there and he gave me the thumbs up, so they helped me get my chair up a four-foot quarter pipe. Then I dropped in and just fell. Multiple times.Then, finally, I rode away from one of them.".[1] Aaron later noted that “I did, and I was hooked”.[2]

Fotheringham uses a customized WCMX wheelchair designed by Box Wheelchairs, which is both lightweight and features four-wheel suspension. This enables him to perform the same sorts of tricks that skateboarders and BMXers can do, as the suspension cushions his landings. Fotheringham has worked with Box Designs Wheelchairs to help refine the design in real-world situations, resulting in a custom-made chair that is in his words "pretty much indestructible".[2]

He competes in the Vegas Am Jam series in skate park competitions, usually against BMX riders. He placed fourth in the intermediate BMX division in a competition held at Sunny Springs Skate Park on August 26, 2006.[3]

Fotheringham advises others attempting to try these tricks to wear a helmet; he has suffered several injuries performing these tricks, including a broken elbow. He tries out new tricks by performing them first into a foam pit. Then he graduates to a ‘resi’, a harder plastic sheet over the cushions, before attempting the new trick on a regular skateboard ramp.[4]

When asked about having to practice, Fotheringham responded "I don’t think of it as practice, I think of it as a fun way to live my life".[4]

Fotheringham has also performed his backflip on the nitro circus live tour over a 50-foot megaramp and jumped the ramp going straight.[5]

In 2008 he appeared in an episode of the reality series The Secret Millionaire and received a donation of US$20,000 from Century Software founder Gregory Haerr.[6] In 2009, Fotheringham worked as a stunt double for Kevin McHale's character, Artie Abrams, in the TV series Glee.

Sports activity

Fotheringham performing at the 2016 Summer Paralympics opening ceremony

Fotheringham calls his activity "WCMX". He is the first person to successfully perform a backflip[7] in a wheelchair at the age of 14, and a double backflip[8] at the age of 18. He performs many other tricks in his wheelchair including 180 degree 'aerials', one-wheeled spins and rail grinds.[9] He plans to fuse the back flip with the 180 aerial into what is known as a ‘flair'.

In 2010 Fotheringham joined the Nitro Circus Live tour, an action sports road show that tours Australia, New Zealand, Europe and the United States. "A little while after my 18th birthday I got an email from a producer of Nitro Circus. He said they’d heard I was trying to jump a big ramp but that nobody would give me permission. And they said: ‘Here at Nitro Circus, we’re not going to stop you doing it," Fotheringham later told James Renhard for Mpora.[1] On the tour Fotheringham performed on a fifty-foot ramp-to-ramp jump doing backflips, double backflip attempts and on February 9, 2011, in New Zealand, the world's first wheelchair frontflip.[9]


  1. ^ a b "'It's A Wheelchair, Not A Prison' - The Aaron 'Wheelz' Fotheringham Interview". Mpora. Retrieved August 19, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Living – On the Edge: Hot Wheels". reviewjournal.com. September 19, 2006. Retrieved September 11, 2012.
  3. ^ Aaron Fotheringham. vegasamjam.com Archived September 2, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ a b Aaron Fotheringham: First Wheelchair Backflip. newdisability.com
  5. ^ "VIDEO: Extreme athlete Aaron Fotheringham jumps megaramp in wheelchair | thetelegraph.com.au". Dailytelegraph.com.au. September 1, 2012. Retrieved September 11, 2012.
  6. ^ "Fox's 'Secret Millionaire' gifts local wheelchair athlete $20k". Las Vegas Sun. Archived from the original on December 22, 2008. Retrieved December 23, 2008.
  7. ^ "Aaron Fotheringham: Wheelchair Backflip". Video.google.com. Retrieved September 11, 2012.
  8. ^ "World's First Double Backflip on a Wheelchair". YouTube. Retrieved September 11, 2012.
  9. ^ a b "Bio". Aaron Fotheringham. Archived from the original on September 4, 2012. Retrieved September 11, 2012.

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