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Wheelz is a wheelchair motocross act on America's Got Talent: Extreme. He was the Runner-up of the competition.

Background

Wheelz's full name is Aaron Fotheringham. Aaron was born with Spina Bifida which is a birth defect of the spinal cord, which resulted in him having no usage of his legs. Aaron is the third of six children, with he himself and his five siblings having been adopted. Aaron never allowed his disability to stop him, and as a baby and a small child he could do anything that any other child could do after having to figure out how to make it work for him. As such he could still roll over, and sit up, and crawl by using his hands and his belly, pretty much on schedule. As he aged however, Aaron needed the support of a walker in order to move before then moving on to the usage of crutches.

Aaron began riding at skateparks at the age of 8 when his older brother Brian who was a BMXer suggested he dropped in. Aaron had been going to the park with Brian and their father for weeks, but Aaron always watched from behind the fence. When Aaron began BMXing he found it scary, and he fell hard but he persevered until he succeed before later becoming hooked. At the beginning of his career Aaron entered and won several BMX Freestyle competitions, including the 2005 Vegas AmJam BMX Finals, but for Aaron this always came second to the joy of riding and hanging out with friends at all of the skateparks in Las Vegas. As time passed Aaron began challenging himself to pioneer even more difficult stunts. In 2005 he perfected a mid-air 180-degree turn, and the following year he landed the first ever wheelchair backflip. Four years later at a camp in Woodward he landed the first ever double backflip on August 26th 2010. Since then Aaron has gone on to perform live on tour with the Nitro Circus. On February 9th 2011, he landed his first front flip in New Zealand and on August 25th 2012 he jumped and successfully landed a 50ft gap off of the Mega Ramp in his chair. Aaron is also a four time winner of the WCMX World Championships.

After having posted the first ever backflip online, Aaron's life changed and he had the opportunity to travel globally in order to both perform and partake in acts of public speaking. Aaron has attended summer camps for disabled children as both a coach and a mentor, and has been featured in magazines, newspapers, and sports television. Aaron also finds the time to respond to emails from across the globe that he is in receipt of. Aaron takes a sense of joy from showing young children with disabilities that wheelchairs can be tools rather than restrictions. As such, he loves helping younger children how to handle their chairs in new & different ways whilst also finding the time to teach them a trick or two. Aaron hopes to one day design and build the most wicked chair in the world. Aaron is extremely passionate about what he does, and not only does he take a sense of joy from his work, but he also attempts to change the world's perception of handicapped people and support everyone in overcoming their own challenges in a new way. Aaron's appeal is universal and he is aware that you do not need to be handicapped in order to take inspiration from what he is able to achieve.

AGT: Extreme Audition

Wheelz' audition in Episode EX01 consisted of riding down an extremely tall ramp. On his first attempt he did not land the right way up and wiped out, but was uninjured. Simon advised him not to attempt the stunt a second time, however Wheelz was insistent. On his second run, he did the trick perfectly. Impressed by his performance, Nikki Bella pressed her golden buzzer sending Aaron directly to finals.

AGT: Extreme Grand-Final

Wheelz was voted into the top two acts of the season, meaning that he would perform one more time for the title. For the Finals, Wheelz' performance consisted of riding down a tall ramp, and landing a backflip at the end of it, in two tries. Unfortunately, Wheelz did not complete the backflip on either try.

Link to performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4Z9QvKcYUY

Trivia

  • Aaron is Nikki Bella’s first ever golden buzzer act.
  • Although his verdict was unneeded due to Nikki using her Golden Buzzer, Travis was exempt from voting due to previously knowing Wheelz in real life.
  • Prior to appearing on AGT: Extreme, Wheelz was shown on Go-Big Show. He was eliminated at the first qualifier round, losing out to eventual winner Tomas Garcilazo by 5 points.

External Links


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