Teamwork was a big part of making the Wings for Life World Run dream work on May 9, 2021. Connected by the App, team members trained together, shared their stories and supported each other throughout the record-setting run. Here’s just a sampling of the thousands of extraordinary teams on the start line.
Firefighters Salzburg Innergebirg
Eyes popped when about 50 members of the fire brigades in Austria’s Pinzgau region took on the Catcher Car wearing full firefighting equipment, even as temperatures soared to nearly 30 degrees. Their inspiration was their colleague Berni Fauland, who is paralyzed as the result of a mountain bike accident, and despite the heat, they were all smiles!
Based in Liverpool, UK, Team Emerson ran for Emerson Grant, a 6-year-old charmer who lost the use of his lower body due to an arachnoid cyst. In 2020, Emerson was absolutely thrilled when Liverpool FC phenom Trent Alexander-Arnold surprised him with a visit, but his biggest dream is a cure for spinal cord injury. His mother, Anna-Marina Dearsley, said, “Wings for Life has given us that hope.”
Yes We Ken!
Ken Delissen of the Netherlands was paralyzed from the neck down after hitting the edge of a trampoline while teaching a gymnastics class. He gets around by steering a special wheelchair with his chin, and he has made it his mission to raise awareness about spinal cord injury. Ken’s incredible strength, spirit and advocacy sparked formation of the team “Yes We Ken!” and inspired people all around the world when featured in the Live Experience.
Team Schlierenzauer – Thiem
A fun thing about the Wings for Life World Run is that you can join the team of one of the many athletes and celebrities who are passionate about the good cause. A group of Austrian athletes – former ski jumper Gregor Schlierenzauer, tennis player Dominic Thiem, para alpine skier Simon Wallner and wheelchair tennis athlete Nico Langmann – combined their star power and drew an international team roster to share the excitement.
Four players from the DHL Stormers rugby team in Cape Town, South Africa formed their own team to support the run for those who can’t. “Growing up, I looked up to the player Cedric Mkhize. He was in a car accident and he’s paralyzed… things just change overnight,” said Stormers’ wing Sergeal Petersen. “It just puts into perspective how blessed we are to be able to still do what we love.”
Run with the Flow
An icon of the Wings for Life World Run, German ultrarunner Florian Neuschwander once again put in an outstanding individual effort, and most impressive, his Run with the Flow crew won the team category for the sixth consecutive year. This time they covered over 45,850 km – that’s more than a complete circuit of the Earth!
You can register now for this year's Wings for Life World Run. So mark your calendar for May 7, 2023.