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Skye Gallery to host Bridging Bionics film and photo show

Tyler Williams training with a robotic assistive device at Bridging Bionics in Snowmass Village. (From “Tyler’s Story,” bridgingbionics.org)

The locally based foundation Bridging Bionics will debut a short film about the Aspen native ski racer Tyler Williams on Friday along with a series of photo portraits by Summers Moore.

The event at Skye Gallery marks the launch of the foundation’s “Rise Up” fundraising campaign, supporting its groundbreaking work with new technology and therapies to improve the abilities of people with mobility impairments.

The gallery is hanging a series of Bridging Bionics photos by Moore and the debut of the short film “Tyler’s Story,” the latest in a series of profiles on Bridging Bionics athletes at bridgingbionics.org. It portrays Williams, the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club kid who grew to be a professional big mountain skier and 7-time X Games skier cross competitor. In recent years, he has been affected by a neurological mass (medically known as an arteriovenous malformation, or AVM). The rare condition has led him to lose feeling and function on the right side of his body.



“I started dropping ski poles and not being able to use my right hand – not being able to use my breaks on my mountain bike,” Williams explains of the onset of symptoms in the film.

The short film shows Williams at work in the Bridging Bionics facility in Snowmass Village, stretching, doing physical therapy, walking and even running in snow using Bridging Bionics robotic assistive devices. Williams will demonstrate his braces at Friday’s event and Bridging Bionics founder Amanda Boxtel will showcase another robotic exoskeleton.




The basis of Williams’ program has includes dry-needling and biofeedback, cardio and strength exercises using a variety of Bridging Bionics robotic exoskeletons.

“Being a part of Bridging Bionics gives him the opportunity to have access to technologies and therapies that are otherwise not highly available,” his physical therapist, Maria Grufsdedt explains in the film.

Williams has made his return to skiing on Aspen Mountain, seen shredding in the movie with a group of friends including the photographer Pete McBride. Williams is back to competitive skiing and biking, and recently won first place at the Adaptive Mountain Biking World Championships in Crested Butte.

“So many people have a speed bump like this, a health issue, and they give up,” McBride says in the film. “And he’s not.”

Friday’s reception at Skye Gallery is free and open to the public. It runs from 5:30 p.m to 7:30 p.m.


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