Edmonton Paralympian pleads for return of stolen bikes

An Edmonton-based Paralympic track star has been sidelined by the theft of her two training bikes.

'These bikes brought me independence,' says Amanda Rummery

Track athlete Amanda Rummery trains for the 2019 Parapan American Games at Foote Field. Rummery says two training bikes were stolen from her garage. (Sheena Rossiter/CBC)

An Edmonton-based track star training to compete in the next Paralympic Games has been sidelined by the theft of her two training bikes.

Amanda Rummery says the customized bikes were stolen from her garage in the area of 77th Avenue and 111th Street in the McKernan neighbourhood early Saturday morning.

Edmonton police are asking anyone with information on the theft to contact them or Crime Stoppers.

The bikes — a black Cannondale and a red Schwinn — are adaptive. Each one has a handlebar removed. 

The alterations allow Rummery to ride with one hand. The 23-year-old track star had her arm amputated following an ATV accident in high school. 

Rummery, a Canadian record holder in the 100-metre, 200-metre and 400-metre Paralympic track events, uses the bikes to cross-train. She hopes to represent Canada at the Tokyo 2021 Paralympic Games. 

She's pleading for their return. 

"Being an arm amputee these bikes have been modified to be quite unique," Rummery said on her Facebook page. "I am hopeful if we keep an eye out they will be found!" 

A passion for track

Rummery was 17 when she lost control of an ATV on a summer trip at her grandmother's cabin in Kenora, Ont. The quad slammed into a tree. 

She suffered a brachial plexus injury, severing the nerves from her left arm — her dominant arm at the time — from her spinal cord.   

In 2018, three years after the July 2015 accident and multiple failed reconstructive surgeries, she had her arm amputated from the elbow.

She began track racing as part of her recovery and quickly developed a passion and a talent for the sport. 

Within a year, she was bound for Lima, Peru to compete at the 2019 Parapan American Games. 

"Living with a physical disability has its challenges, and these bikes were modified to make bike riding easy and accessible for me," Rummery said in an Edmonton police news release. 

'"Adapting to riding a bike with one arm was certainly difficult, though these bikes brought me independence and are very special to me."

(Amanda Rummery/Facebook)