In April 2011, Gates was snowboarding with some friends in Utah when they decided to build a jump over a nearby creek. Even though Gates was a little suspect of the jump, he agreed to be the first of his friends to hit it. Gates landed on the other side of the creek on his neck and shoulders. He was immediately flown to a local hospital where he was told he had suffered a C5 spinal cord injury resulting in paralysis from the neck down.
Growing up in beautiful Utah, Gates has always been a fan of the outdoors and all activities associated with being outside. Gates plans on competing in marathons on a hand cycle. He is currently racing, but does so on a loaner cycle.
Gates originally applied for a grant in April, but then pulled it because he felt that he could raise a chunk of the funds. Shortly after, Gates found out that he was receiving a partial $4,000 grant from Challenged Athlete Fund.
Funding Toward an Adaptive Rugby Chair from Melrose Kiwi Concept Chairs. 2015 – Hand Cycle.