Extreme competition is nothing new to Claudia Breidbach. Claudia hit new heights competing in the 2015 German National Skydiving Championship. Her team, Team Karma, is the world's first inclusive 4 way skydiving team. Now she competes this weekend in the Cybathlon, an adaptive competition where man and machine intersect to do the impossible. Of the 6 events, Claudia is competing in the Powered Arm Prosthesis Race.
Claudia was born with dysmelia, a congenital defect, which led her to be born without her hand and most of her forearm. She managed to learn most tasks with her right hand to achieve daily tasks. Eventually, the overuse of her right hand led to pain and hours of physical therapy. After a visit to an Occupational Therapy Conference in Germany, she discovered Touch Bionics and their i-limb hand. After going through the insurance route, she was finally able to acquire one.
Since the hand works on myoelectric principles, she had initial difficulty adapting to the i-limb. The i-limb is triggered through muscle contractions which Claudia never used over her lifetime. After practice and strengthening the muscles in her left arm, she was able to master the i-limb and do the unimaginable with it. Now, not only is she the Training Manager at Touch Bionics, but is also the pilot for Team Touch Bionics in the first ever Cybathlon.
Claudia has been preparing for the competition with her teammates since May, preparing on grip positions as well as the the game plan for the Cybathlon. Unfortunately, during preparation, Claudia suffered a hole in her kitchen floor as the result of a falling cone. An unfortunate circumstance, but she learned from the event and improved her skills. Going into Saturday, she feels confident that she can compete and bring the prize home for the Touch Bionics family.
During the Cybathlon, Claudia wants to show the world that anything is possible with today's technology. She wants to motivate people to thrive for more. At NTI, we try our best to do the same and provide candidates the tools to succeed through the training, mentoring and job placement. We wish Team Touch Bionics the best in the Cybathlon as we know Claudia will show the world what is possible!
Watch Claudia and Team Touch Bionics compete in the Powered Arm Race on October 8th. The event will be streamed online at http://www.cybathlon.ethz.ch/en/.