Hector Picard has completed Ironman races in the past, but until this weekend, he had never crossed the finish line at the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona.
On Saturday night, Picard ended his day after 16 hours, 45 minutes, and 41 seconds of swimming, biking, and running to become the first double-arm amputee to ever complete the historic race.
@HectorPicard finished #IMKona in 17:00:40. #waytogo! pic.twitter.com/MyCNRg893g
— 303Triathlon (@303Triathlon) October 9, 2016
This comes one year after the 50-year-old overheated during the event and had to drop out.
“Most of my third-degree burns are on my torso and last year was the hottest Ironman in 15 years with a heat index of 110 degrees,” Picard told the Miami Herald. “The sun was beating down on the exposed skin on my lower back. My shirt rose up and I couldn’t pull it down. Plus, without arms it is harder for my body to cool itself.”
Picard lost his arms in 1992 while working on a substation transformer, which supplied power to an entire neighborhood. At the end of the day, he had to remove equipment from the transport when his right arm inadvertently touched the activated side. A 13,000-volt charge went through his right arm, down his side, and blew off the top of his foot. As he was falling from the initial electrocution, he reached out with his left hand and got hit with another 13,000 volts before falling two stories as he was on fire.
Picard was in a coma for 30 days. When he woke up, his arms were gone, and he had 2nd and 3rd degree burns covering 40% of his body.
Not only did Picard survive, but he began competing in triathlons after he lost his arms.
Hector’s wife, Wendy, kept us posted throughout race day with her Facebook posts.
Get to know this amazing athlete even better. We brought our cameras down to Florida last December to catch up with him:
From Triathlons to Basketball, Double-Arm Amputee Hector Picard Does it All from Purpose2Play on Vimeo.
If you’re interested in hearing Picard speak, he will be in Dallas to present at our Purpose2Play Summit: Talking Triumph event on Oct. 27. Get your tickets today!