It was almost exactly one year ago, when Garrett Geros took a trip to Colorado by himself to see what it would be like to live on his own and train to become a Paralympic snowboarder.
The then-Cartersville High senior handled the trip well and even came home with two medals, including one gold, from his first-ever competition.
In the 12 months since, Geros has traveled to Dubai, Canada and Spain for events and achieved incredible things. None of the accomplishments, though, compare to his most recent one.
Last Friday, Geros and eight other U.S. Paralympic snowboarders were chosen to represent their country in the World Para Snowboard Championships. The event, which will begin today in Pyha, Finland, is the first major snowboarding competition since the 2018 Pyeongchang Paralympic Winter Games.
“I’ve never been so excited for anything else in my life,” Geros said in a phone interview Monday. “It just hit me, I’m actually going to get to compete in the world championships. This is amazing.”
The son of Jordan and Dave Geros, Garrett Geros does not lack self belief, but even he has been surprised by quickly an opportunity like this has come along.
“I did not think it was possible,” he said. “I thought I was going to do pretty good, when I came out here, but it was a big surprise, when I heard I’d made it. …
“Try to make as many competitions as I can and get better, that was my goal, when I came out here. When I found out I made the world champs, it exceeded beyond belief.”
Geros, who is sponsored by Adaptive Action Sports, Toyota and Challenged Athletes Foundation, will compete in the banked slalom event, which is set for today. After an off day and a day of training, Geros will complete in snowboardcross on Saturday.
On Sunday, there will be a snowboardcross team event, the first of its kind, but Geros doesn’t know yet if he will make the U.S. squad for that competition.
Regardless of how the this week turns out, Geros is just thrilled to not just surviving but thriving in the highly competitive world of Paralympics.
“It’s a big learning experience,” Geros said of his adjustment period. “… It’s been difficult, but I’ve been working through it. I’ve been getting better almost every day of training. I’ve been working hard to do everything I can to live out here and just live the dream.”