Power Story: Stephen Zuravel

September, 2022



The WHY Behind WHAT We Do




Stephen Zuravel grew up in the Akron, Ohio area on a small farm and was home schooled until he was 16. He then made the decision to attend a secondary school for automotive technology. After graduating, he worked briefly in a small shop before realizing that working on cars wasn't what he wanted pursue as a career. Stephen decided to enroll at The University of Akron and pursue an Engineering degree there. Stephen was driving home from a ski trip in 2009 after finishing his first semester at Akron when he was involved in a car accident that resulted in a Spinal Cord injury at the C7 vertebrae. Stephen's interest for adaptive sports sparked in the Spring of 2010, when a friend informed him about the wheelchair division in the Akron Roadrunner Marathon. When he started researching it, he first learned about the Top End® Series. Stephen went on to participate in the Akron Roadrunner Marathon in the Top End XLT handcycle, which stoked his interest in Top End's products.

After gradually returning to school, Stephen attended an internship forum and focused all of his attention on Invacare with the prior knowledge that they had close ties with Top End. Stephen went on to receive an Engineering internship at TopEnd, and relocated to Florida in 2016 when he accepted a full-time role at Top End. Stephen first took up handcycling as a leisure activity, but after starting work at Top End, he developed a greater passion for the sport and is now participating in more competitive races. Stephen recently took part in the Para-Cycling Road National Championship in Chattanooga, Tennessee. After his performance, he received an invitation to a paracycling development camp at the US Olympic and Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, where he was training day in and day out. For Stephen, being able to train with some of the best handcycling prospects in the nation was a surreal experience. He hopes to soon be able to transition from the Emerging Level of handcycling to the National Level.

When handcycling, Stephen uses an Invacare® Top End Force NRG Handcycle. When asked why he likes using Top End handcycles, Stephen responds that a big factor that makes them enjoyable to use is that they are tried and true for their intended use and simple to transfer into. Stephen really likes using the Force NRG handcycle because he knows it's dependable, and it consistently produces what it promises. He adds - that it's important to note how well the handcycle fits, which is worth appreciating. When not on his handcycle, Stephen uses an Invacare® Top End Crossfire™ T6 Manual Wheelchair. On numerous occasions, he also uses this wheelchair in conjunction with a SMOOV® one Power Assist. According to Stephen, the SMOOV one Power Assist is very user-friendly and its main advantage is that it lets you go about your daily activities without exerting yourself too much.



Fun Facts

   What's are some of your favorite hobbies?

   My life revolves largely around handcycling, which occupies most of my free time. Aside from that, I play video games with friends
   from home, to keep in touch with them. I thoroughly enjoy spending time outdoors and visiting various parks near where I live.

   What's one place you've always wanted to visit and why?

   The Grand Canyon immediately springs to mind as a location I haven't yet visited. As for why I want to see it, everyone I know
   who has done so has raved about how magnificent and enormous it is. I want to visit it so I can understand how incredible it is.

   What song do you have to sing along to when you hear it?

   Timbaland, "The Way I Are." When my friend and I were particularly busy working at a restaurant,
   this song would always play, which brings back pleasant memories.

   Who would play you in a movie about your life?

   Shia LeBeouf, many people have told me that my appearance resembles him quite a bit.

   What's included on your bucket list?

   Ultimately I'd like to see how far I can go in handcycling. My main goal over the next few years is to compete in at least one
   Paralympic event. Secondly, someday, I hope to start a family. Third, I think it would be surreal to go bungee jumping.

   If you could have dinner with anyone from history, who would it be?

   2 individuals. Jesus, for religious reasons and my late oldest Brother.


A Personal Message from Stephen to the Invacare Family



Photo Gallery


Stephen (left) and Steve Chapman (right)                                                                              Stephen competing in his Invacare® Top End Force NRG Handcycle
at the Para-Cycling Road National Championship                                                                                                                           




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