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Beyond the Game: Amputee's amazing achievement shows anything is possible

Chris Madison at Alaskaman Extreme Triathlon (Courtesy Scott Flathouse Photography)

Chris Madison's day job as staff attorney for the city of Bryant requires him to work through problems.

You would never know, however, that since 1985, these are hardly the biggest obstacles he's had to overcome.

He lost his leg in a boating accident 32 years ago.

"Fun summer day at the lake renting jet skis and the guy driving the boat was looking back at the para-sail, not at the jet ski," Madison said. "Jet ski versus boat.

"Couple weeks in the hospital, some multiple surgeries and learning how to walk again."

That day 32 years ago has shaped his life.

"It's interesting. A lot of the things I've done in my life are because of that moment, are because of that challenge. There are things I have accomplished and things I have done and dreams I have had because of that challenge, that had I not had that, I probably would not have thought to do these other challenges."

His biggest tests recently? Triathlons. He began doing them a few years ago, though it was only a few weeks ago, Madison survived the ultimate test: the Alaskaman Extreme Triathlon. The event brands itself as "the most challenging event of its kind in the United States."

"I wanted next level, something more challenging," Madison said.

He got it: a 2.6 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 27 mile run. All in all, the triathlon encompasses 141.6 miles from the city of Seward to the city of Girdwood, Alaska.

Of the 320 athletes to sign up, only about 150 finished. Madison was the only amputee.

"I went further in my mental, physical, emotional than I've ever been. That was the most challenging thing I've ever done in my life," he said.

"But I had a goal, and I was going to achieve that goal."

All of a sudden, no problem posed elsewhere in life is insurmountable.

"Literally you can do anything. Just set your dreams big and start stepping towards it."

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