By Kathy Walsh
LOUISVILLE, Colo. (CBS4) – A teenage climber from Erie is becoming a force in the world of paraclimbing. He recently won a silver medal at the World Championships in Innsbruck, Austria.
Sixteen-year-old Trevor Smith has been climbing for just about two years. He does it with just one hand.
“Climbing has made me the happiest that I’ve ever been,” Trevor told CBS4’s Kathy Walsh.
And Trevor’s happy place is Evo Rock + Fitness in Louisville. It is where he trains, where he hits the wall, where the teenager with one hand has no limits.
“Leave everything behind, and I just focus on the wall,” he said.
Trevor embraces the challenge. But 16 years ago, his parents worried when he was born without a right hand.
“Certain things like tying my shoes or riding my bike, they were not sure how I was going to handle it,” Trevor said.
Trevor never knew what he was missing. He was an active boy and played traditional sports. In Colorado, climbing was everywhere.
“My parents were like ‘No, no, no, we’re not doing any of that’,” he said with a laugh.
They relented and Trevor soared.
“I wanted to be great at something, and when I got into climbing that was an opportunity for me,” he explained.
After training for just five months, at the Paraclimbing National Competition, the Niwot High School junior placed third on the U.S. Paraclimbing team. Two months later, he won a silver medal at the 2018 IFSC Paraclimbing World Championships in Austria.
“My first reaction coming off of the finals wall was just a scream of ‘Hell yeah!'” he said.
Trevor believes he can only get better. Now working with a coach and focusing on training, he likes his chances of reaching the top.
Trevor now has his sights set on gold at Nationals in March. He hopes to go to the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. He wants to be best climber he can be.