Under Ocean Wheelchair Stirs Impossible Dreams

Wearing minimal scuba gear and a simple floral dress, a barefoot Sue Austin skates above the ocean floor in a wheelchair ride that is simply soul tingling.

“This is one of those quietly awesome things that make me get out of bed each morning in the hope of seeing,” says online viewer ELuhn who watched in awe along with thousands of other people worldwide who are turning to this film for inspiration.

‘Creating the Spectacle!’ is a ground breaking series of live art events that record a wheelchair as it flies through the water. In ‘Part 1 – Finding Freedom’, the underwater wheelchair enables Sue Austin to go on a gentle, dream-like exploration of an exotic underwater canvass that not only transforms our preconceptions about disabilities but also inspires us to question our own belief systems about we can do in this world.

In recent history we’ve seen people with disabilities achieve amazing feats:

  • In 1998, Tom Whittaker made history as the leader of his own expedition to climb Mount Everest, the tallest mountain on earth and he did it wearing a prosthetic leg.
  • Legally blind, Marla Runyan is one of the fastest women on earth. A three time national champion in the women’s 5000 meter race, she won four gold medals in the 1992 summer Paralympics.
  • 24-year-old Natalie du Toit of South Africa, who has an amputated leg, competed in the 10-kilometer open water swimming race in the Beijing Olympics, arriving with a ranking of fifth in the world in that event

For all of us who harbor a thirst for the ’impossible’, maybe it’s time to unlock the closet of our minds and to take a lesson from these extraordinary people who remind us that passion is indeed one of the most powerful forces known to man. More often than not, the biggest thing that stands in the way of our deepest desires is simply the failure to have unwavering faith in ourselves and to build blueprints around our heart’s desire.

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Nils Lunde
PlsNoMessage se5 years ago

..., and inspiring. Thanks

Nils Lunde
PlsNoMessage se5 years ago

Great! :-)

Shelly Peterson
Shelly Peterson5 years ago

So inspiring!

Heidi S.
Heidi S5 years ago

amazing :)

Marianne B.
Marianne B5 years ago

If you dream it, you can do it. Very inspirational. Today's technology is amazing.

Vicky P.
Vicky P5 years ago

that's great

Maureen Heartwood

This is part of a larger performance art piece. It's about challenging the image of a wheelchair as restrictive, NOT about someone literally needing a wheelchair underwater. It's about the wheelchair as part of something beautiful, and as the means to freedom.

Also, no, the chair is not dead weight, if you actually watch the video, you'll see that it has a propulsion system, making it function something like a power chair on land. If I were going to dive, I could really use something like this to help me move around, although my chair would be impractical.

J.L. A.
JL A5 years ago

wonderful opportunity for all involved provide hope for all who observe

Sheri P.
Sheri P5 years ago

i don't understand the need for a wheelchair under water. isn't that just like being strapped to a lead weight?

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W5 years ago