BELT GOAL PROGRAM | Alina Garbuzov

High Five #HighFivesAthlete Alina Garbuzov for achieving two of her five Arcade Belt Goals!

“My short-term goals are to improve at swimming and biking enough to complete a long-distance swim outdoors and to participate in a triathalon,” Garbuzov said. “My long-term goals are to transition out of using a wheelchair to crutches and canes.”

  1. GOAL 1 – Swim a mile on Donner Lake. (COMPLETED on 9/12/2016)

  2. GOAL 2 – Complete a sprint triathlon. (COMPLETED on 7/2/2016)

  3. GOAL 3 – TBD

  4. GOAL 4 – TBD

  5. GOAL 5 – TBD


On October 31st, 2015 Alina fell 60 feet while rock climbing in Yosemite National Park. The fall resulted in a fractured the L1 vertebra of Alina’s spine. The fall also broke her thumb, scapula, several ribs and collapsed her lung. Alina was rescued and flown by helicopter to Stanford Hospital, where surgeons fused five vertebrae of her spine. Alina was paralyzed from the waist down, and when she woke up sensation and function quickly started to return.

“Alina is an incredibly hard worker and plans to make this injury a distant memory,” said Roy Tuscany, Executive Director of the High Fives Foundation. “She has lower extremity movement and plans to keep working it until it gets strong enough to walk again.”


These goals are achieved as a part of the Arcade Goal Belt Program which was established as an initiative that guides athletes through the complex recovery process after a life-altering injury.

The belt program, which is similar to a karate belt system, rewards High Fives athletes with an Arcade belt containing a new gold star for each milestone achieved. This framework is designed to provide clarity, support, competition and inspiration for others as these athletes work to rebuild their lives.



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