Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Trending: Paralympian Sundquist is jokester
By Bill Speros Special to ESPN.com
This Halloween, everyone is fighting for second place thanks to Paralympic skier, cancer survivor and motivational speaker Josh Sundquist and his lampshade costume. He posted the image on Facebook and Twitter, tweeting the caption: "For Halloween, I dressed as a leg lamp. I had to shave my leg, but I think it was worth it. RT if you agree."
The image of Sundquist in his costume, inspired by the famous lamp scene from the 1983 holiday classic "A Christmas Story," has received more than 1.6 million views on imgur. It has been featured on several national news and sports sites, earned more than 11,000 likes on Facebook (he has 58,000-plus Facebook followers) and has been re-tweeted more than 550 times. It will no doubt inspire others to be creative, if nothing else.
According to Reddit's front page, I won Halloween. Thanks! Do I get a prize? Maybe one that ships in a big FRAGILE box? imgur.com/SVtTa
"I thought that was just a funny thing. I grew up as a boy dreaming of becoming a Paralympian, not necessarily of winning Halloween. It's a pretty cool accolade. I was hoping the prize comes in a big FRAGILE marked box," Sundquist told Playbook Wednesday. "With the lamp photo, was hoping to get a 1,000 likes on Facebook. This is way beyond my wildest dreams or expectations."
The costume was a team effort between Sundquist, his girlfriend and his assistant. After seeing a pre-made lampshade costume online, they decided to make a custom version for Sundquist, who lives in Washington.
"We took a real lampshade, cut the back open and put a zipper in it so it would function like a skirt and then glued the tassels below it an added the fishnet," he said. The hardest part: finding a high-heeled women's shoe that would fit Sundquist's right foot. He eventually bought a pair of women's size 12 Comfort Plus black, three-inch, high-heeled shoes, which he wore the entire night. "Despite the name, it's not that comfortable."
So how did he light the lamp?
"For the photo I posted online," he said, "I put an LED light panel that I use for filming videos in it to made the costume more portable with battery-powered Christmas lights safety-pinned to the inside of the shade."
If you thought that was impressive, check out Sundquist's effort from two years ago, which he also shared on Facebook and Twitter this week:
”I'm not sure I'll ever top my 2010 Halloween costume.”
The success of the "Gingerbread Man" also helped inspire this year's costume. The message in both: "Having one leg can be annoying, but you can say funny things about it."
Going viral is nothing new for Sundquist, who hosts his own blog. His You Tube channel has more than 16.1 million views and 143,000 subscribers. His "Amputee Rap" video has been viewed 842,000-plus times and tells his life story while offering a glimpse of his motivational ability and skills.
A competitor in the 2006 Paralympic Games and former member of the U.S. Amputee Soccer Team, Sundquist, 28, lost his left leg to cancer at age 9. He is retired from professional skiing but keeps himself well-conditioned.
"The sport I'm most into is yoga," he said. "I can't believe how many comments I've gotten from girls and guys saying 'You have an amazing leg. It's so well-built. You look good in high heels and fishnet stockings.'"
• Golden "Goldilocks" Tate and Russell "Papa Bear" Wilson of the Seahawks teamed up with Wilson's wife, Ashton "Mama Bear" Wilson, and Tate's girlfriend , Elise "Baby Bear" Pollard to put their spin on this children's classic: