In 2007 David Berling was in a private plane crash, causing him to amputate both legs above the knee, undergo 28 surgeries total, and over two months total in the hospital. Prior to this accident Berling was a Captain in the Air Force but has since medically retired and began working as a civilian contractor at an Air Force base. He took up hand cycling as a part of his recovery and getting back into a routine and has made great strides in the sport. Though he experienced a set back from a car accident, leaving him with broken ribs and bruised and punctured lungs, he got right back on the bike. With time the damages of the accident faded and he set his sight on competing in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic games. Berling has competed in many races, including multiple World Championships, and he is looking forward to representing Team USA.
Away from cycling:
Berling was always into sports and being active, and after his accident is no different. He enjoys his training sessions, as well as working out, shooting and flying. Berling is also the author of “Just Living the Dream”, a book outlining his thoughts and life experiences.
In their own words:
“I’m just going to ride as well and as fast as I can and see where everything shakes out,” he said. “I don’t have expectations. I would like to continue to improve where I’ve been finishing and try to beat the next guy out, keep picking off the people that have been finishing ahead of you, one by one.”
“I said to my wife, I haven’t donned a jersey or uniform this important since I put on the U.S. uniform for the armed forces, my Air Force uniform,”
- Sport: Cycling
- Limb Difference:
- DOB: 7/3/80
- Residence: Avondale, AZ
- College: U. of Wisconsin - La Crosse
- Previous Games: 2017
- Classification: MH5