Who: Mike Minor looks back on his time competing in the 2018 Winter Paralympics as “by far the most surreal experience” he ever had. Now, he hopes to have the chance to enjoy that feeling again.

Born in Scranton and raised in Waymart, the 2008 graduate of Western Wayne High School was born missing his right forearm arm just below the elbow and said he “always had a unique drive in life to exceed expectations.” He later moved to Colorado to pursue his dream of becoming a professional athlete, and he went on to earn gold and bronze medals as a snowboarder at the PyeongChang Paralympics and a bronze medal as an adaptive skateboarder in the 2019 X Games.

“I believe that you can achieve anything you want in life if you are willing to reach out and grab it,” Minor said.

What/why: Now 30, Minor hopes to compete in the Winter Paralympics in Beijing next year, but he needs money to do that. The pandemic and the postponement of last year’s Summer Olympics meant corporate sponsorships were “upended” for American athletes, according to Minor. He hopes to raise $25,000 to cover what he described as “the costly expenses that come with being an independent athlete and the journey to making the Paralympic team.” That includes travel expenses such as flights, lodging, lift tickets, race fees and more that will let him compete and stay globally ranked on the Paralympic and World Cup circuit.

Minor aims not only to compete at his highest level and bring home more medals but also to represent his country in the best light possible — and make those who follow him proud in the process.

“Representing your country and experiencing the opening ceremonies is almost indescribable,” Minor said. “I am looking forward to these next games in Beijing as they truly are a once-in-a-lifetime moment.”

How: To donate, visit the GoFundMe page, “Mike Minor’s road to Beijing 2022,” or mail contributions to Backforty Window Tinting, c/o Mike Minor, 36 Belavitz Road, Waymart, PA 18472. Minor also sells T-shirts on his website, mikeminorusa.com.

In his own words: “Support and donations mean everything to me. They are going to be what puts me on the path to the games again, as well as give me the opportunity to represent this country on the world’s largest stage. Even if you can’t financially help, just share this with your friends and follow the journey because that ride is free. My Instagram handle is @gnarlynubby, (which is the same) for my Facebook athlete page. I hope to make those of you who follow proud again in 2022.” — Mike Minor