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Ovation: Crowd Surfing In A Wheelchair.


My BodyNever having been a fan of large crowds, when I go to concerts I prefer a venue with assigned seating.  I have, however, been to several outdoor events that I enjoyed very much.  I remember seeing a young Christina Aguilera perform an outdoor concert and thinking that she would become a huge star.  Another outdoor even that I really enjoyed was a concert by Shania Twain at the height of her popularity when everyone knew all the words to every song that she sang.

Still I found myself enjoying the show from a safe distance, never close to the stage or where I felt I would be in someone else’s way, and certainly where I wouldn’t be expected to “crowd surf”!

Twenty-five-year-old Los Angeles man, Ryan Chen, was instantly paralyzed from the waist down as the result of a snowboarding accident in 2009 and has been confined to a wheelchair ever since.  But his physical limitations haven’t stopped him from living a life full of adventure and joy.  This week, a photograph of Chen crowd surfing in his wheel chair at a concert went viral and it brings a tear to my eye.

(Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

(Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

So awesome.

“Epic moment for Ryan Chen, Young the Giant and my camera!” – Jeff Kravitz, President of

The photo was taken by Jeff Kravitz last year at the Outside Lands Music Festival in San Francisco where Chen and his friend James Marcus Haney, a filmmaker, had snuck in.  The pair had befriended members of Young the Giant, an indie rock band appearing at the festival, and they all agreed that it would be a wonderful experience of Chen tried to crowd surf when the band played their song “My Body”.  The band learned about the photo, too.

“It was pretty amazing, looking out onto a sea of people and seeing Ryan being propped up on his wheelchair.  Ryan has an incredible attitude about life and is almost always the happiest person in the room.” – Members of Young the Giant via Reddit

The look of pure joy on Chen’s face is remarkable in itself but I find the smiles in the audience equally wonderful … even those whose view he’s blocking!

I can’t imagine the emotions the man in this photo is experiencing.


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Copyright © 2014


From → Ovations

  1. Way cool


  2. I just love that!


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