Snowboarder Katy Maddry, who lives in Auburn, competed in the Paralympics in Beijing, China, in March. Submitted photo

The Paralympics weren’t a longtime goal for Katy Maddry, but once they became an option, she dedicated herself to international competition.

Last month, competing in the Paralympics became a reality for the 20-year-old Auburn resident.

Auburn resident competed in the 2022 Paralympics in Beijing, China, in March. Submitted photo

Before she moved with her mother from Alaska to Maine two years ago, Maddry snowboarded with an adaptive program called Challenge Alaska.

She only raced once a year, but her snowboarding still caught the attention of Team USA, and after she arrived in Maine she received an email from a director with the United States Paralympic team asking if she was going to any World Cup events. 

“I didn’t have any plans to, but she said I had a small chance at the Paralympics, so I booked a flight to the Netherlands for the first World Cup event,” Maddry said. “I got last place, did bad, but then we arranged my whole life and made sure I attended every single World Cup. I think I missed only one. It was really awesome. I was flying from Europe to the U.S., back and forth.”

Maddry, born in Guangzhou, China, was adopted when she was 6 years old by a couple from Alaska. She was born with fibular hemimelia, which resulted in scoliosis. She walked around with a 3-inch boost in her right shoe to make her right leg as long as the left. Maddry said her parents were given two options from her doctor, either stretch the right leg out or amputate it. Her parents elected to to have part of her leg amputated when she was 8.


Maddry ended up making the U.S. Paralympic team, in the snowboard cross and banked slalom, at the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing. 

Auburn’s Katy Maddry earned a spot on Team USA in the snowboard cross and banked slalom for the 2022 Paralympics in Beijing in March. Submitted photo

“I really loved it,” Maddry said. “I got to get to know my team members even more, got to hangout with other people from other countries, and it was a really fun experience. It was super cool. … We landed a couple hours away from where I was born, and it was super cool. I wish I could have seen more, but we were stuck in the ski resort area.”

Maddry, who said she speaks a little Mandarin, was excited to meet the Chinese athletes and people during the Paralympics. 

“It was super cool, the language was awesome,” Maddry said. “I got to hangout with some other Chinese people and exchange stories. It was cool.”

She finished in 12th in the boardercross, but injured her leg on a jump, preventing her from competing in the banked slalom.

“I trained for the boardercross the past three years but I never did jumps,” Maddry said. “I wasn’t expecting jumps at the boardercross in Beijing, and I guess I just don’t know how to land them. I landed really badly. We did an X-ray and a CT scan and there was no fracture, so we assumed it was just a bone bruise on my nub on my right leg, my amputation leg.”


Maddry also competed at the 2021 World Championships, and placed fourth in the dual banked slalom.

Maddry recently stopped needing crutches, and will now turn her focus to improving.

“I think I want to get in the gym a little bit more and get a whole lot better,” Maddry said. “I want to practice my jumping. I want to get with Maine Adaptive, I want to get a lot of things dialed in and get a whole lot better.”

Maddry skis at Sugarloaf and Sunday River, but she also is planning to train in Colorado during the upcoming year to improve in both the banked slalom and snowboard cross.

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