He was an 18 year old kid on a hot summer day just prior to his first college semester. Riding in the back of a pickup truck in rural Georgia with friends after a hard day of landscaping work. They were talking sports, girls and plans for the weekend, when suddenly the truck is hit by a passing 18- wheeler, throwing him underneath a 3-ton attached trailer and dragging him 300 feet.
His back suffered third degree burns, his right leg was severed off and his left leg hung barely intact. His life was seemingly over, or so it seemed for Scott Rigsby.
Over a decade of countless doctor visits and hospitals, 26 surgeries, additional amputation, depression, fear, and uncertainty, Rigsby had become a professional patient. An inevitable battle with prescription drug addiction followed, as did the loss of many relationships and trust. At one point, things got so desperate that Rigsby sold what little furniture he had just to pay rent. There was no steady income and no dreams for a stable or successful future.
Life had hit Scott Rigsby hard, knocking him down and keeping him there.
Unthinkable is the incredible true story of how Scott Rigsby turned his life around, reaching unprecedented heights as a world-class athlete. Doing the unthinkable is not easy. It requires an unshakeable determination to overcome any obstacle. Scott Rigsby not only has done the unthinkable, he sees no finish line in sight. Rigsby embraced this motto when he decided in 2005 to change his life, and the world, by breaking down barriers for physically challenged athletes. Little did Rigsby know that his inspirational journey would soon impact generations of able bodied people. He believes he has a genuine purpose to make a difference in everyone's life. He is on a mission fueled by a simple prayer that if God would open doors for him, then he would go through them. Sounds rather trivial until you hear his story of tragedy and one young man's struggle to simply carry on.
Once that door first door opened more than 15 years after his accident, a relentless and determined Rigsby arose and never looked back. A once beaten man from a small town was now taking on the world.
He completed 13 triathlons and 5 road races on his way to setting world records for a double below-the-knee amputee in the Full Marathon, Half Ironman, and International Distance Triathlon, earning him a spot on the 2006 USA Triathlon Team. As his accomplishments mounted, so did Rigsby's desire to do the unthinkable and take his mission to the next level. He would tackle the toughest endurance test of them all, the Ironman, to raise the bar and inspire all challenged athletes to reach beyond their circumstances.
Call it fate or maybe just life taking another swing at Rigsby, but tragedy struck again as he crashed halfway through the cycling portion of the Coeur d' Alene, Idaho Ironman event. Cracking a vertebrae, he overcame the pain to finish ahead of the bike cutoff time and ran 12 miles of the marathon before succumbing to his injuries. Not one to give up, Rigsby then prepared himself for the World Championship Ironman in Hawaii.
On October 13, 2007, after enduring the elements for 16 hours and 43 minutes, Scott Rigsby became the first double-amputee on prosthetics in the world to finish an Ironman distance triathlon with prosthetics at the 140.6-mile World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Rigsby used "swim legs" to navigate the difficult 2.4 mile ocean swim, "bike legs" to cycle 112 miles through the heat and gusting winds of the Big Island lava fields on a standard road bike, and "run legs" to complete the marathon segment in darkness and intense pain.
To hear Rigsby tell it, the drama unfolded early and adversity struck often throughout the day and night with mother nature, his prosthetics and time continuously working against the man of iron will. His triumphs and adversities during the ordeal is a poetic summary of his life, as he describes the intimate thoughts and feelings of conquering the challenge that ultimately defines his life and purpose. Share in the final miles as he runs against his past, toward the open door down Alii Drive, through the flowery tunnel of frenzied fans waiting to see "The Miracle" beat the dreaded midnight deadline. With 17 minutes to spare before race organizers called things off, you will hear the final moments come to life as the announcer screams, "Here he comes, it's Scott Rigsby, he's going to do it. Unbelievable!"
Scott Rigsby's incredible story contains as many highs and lows as one can imagine over such a short and storied life. Like a Rubik's Cube, there are many twists and turns in his amazing tale that offers something personal and meaningful to each individual. You might laugh and you might cry or, both. But one thing is for certain, you will be inspired. For Scott Rigsby, there is no finish line.
Rigsby is currently engaged in corporate speaking events, counseling wounded US troops, making public appearances, conducting media interviews and being highlighted in national magazines and newspapers. In addition, the Scott Rigsby Foundation (a 501C3), designed to inspire, educate and enable amputees and all challenged athletes around the world, is opening new doors for challenged athletes to meet their personal goals.
Unthinkable, Rigsby's unique story of success and failures, all started with a decision and the desire to never quit, no matter what, no matter how long.Scott's story has been covered by the following media partners: