A 12-year-old boy has become the first in the UK and the youngest in Europe to perform a backflip in a wheelchair. The feat of Benjamin Sleet, who still uses a wheelchair to get around, made him an internet sensation. According to the Mirror, Benjamin was born with spina bifida and hydrocephalus and has always used a wheelchair to get around. Babies born with spina bifida suffer from hydrocephalus, a condition that causes excess fluid in the brain, leading to complete paralysis of the legs.
Benjamin performed an impressive backflip while sitting in a wheelchair at the skate park earlier this month. Those who have seen Ben’s videos and photos have already become his admirers. According to the Mirror, Ben has become the youngest and only man in the UK to achieve this feat.
He first discovered wheelchair motorized cross country (WCMX) at a skateboarding event when he was eight years old, but his skills really took off when he was given a custom lightweight freestyle wheelchair and started training.
At the event, Ben reportedly met skateboarder Richie Inskip. Richie then introduced her to Lily Rice, the reigning WCMX Women’s World Champion and the first British girl to perform a backflip at the age of 13. She came with a specially customized skateboard chair and let Ben try it out and he hasn’t looked back since.
Ben’s family was able to buy him his own wheelchair thanks to generous donations, and he has been honing his skills ever since.
Ben, who has been training in the WMX discipline at Henley Skatepark since 2018, achieved this seemingly impossible feat after months of hard work and countless attempts.
On April 3, he became the youngest in Europe and the first man in the UK to perform the stunt. “At first he surprised me, then I got excited, he wasn’t really scary. I didn’t know he was going to do it, I just decided he was going to try it,” Ben was quoted as saying by the Mirror.
The motorized wheelchair crossover, which features competitors performing stunts similar to skateboarding and BMX, was founded by Aaron Fotheringham of Las Vegas.
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