Up to 30 blind and visually impaired participants
including five veterans to ski at Pico Mountain
The United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) in
partnership with Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports will host its
largest gathering of skiers who are blind and visually impaired at
its Sixth Annual Winter Ski Festival in Killington, Saturday, Feb.
9 and Sunday, Feb. 10 at Pico Mountain.
Up to 30 athletes with visual impairments will be given the
opportunity to learn to ski or race in the sports of Alpine and
Nordic skiing, while spending a weekend in the Green Mountains of
Vermont. Athletes will be attending from New England states, and as
far south as Florida and North Carolina and west to Pennsylvania,
Ohio, Wisconsin and Minnesota.
The event is open to all ages, all abilities and all ski levels.
Trained guides and instructors are provided by Vermont Adaptive,
the largest year-round disabled sports non-profit organization in
Vermont, which is committed to empowering individuals with
This year, a group of five Veterans will join the festivities.
The USABA Military Sport Program works to enhance the lives of
disabled Veterans and Service Members who are blind or visually
impaired and to accelerate their rehabilitation process through
sport, physical activity, and recreation; as well as assist in the
integration of those individuals back into their local community.
Mark Lucas, USABA's executive director said, "USABA is
extremely pleased to partner with Vermont Adaptive to provide an
opportunity for skiers who are blind and visually impaired. Now in
its sixth year, the event has really expanded with meet-and-greet
receptions, Alpine and Nordic skiing sessions, a banquet, and a
biathlon demonstration using a sonar laser rifle."
In addition, six athletes from Vermont were awarded scholarships
for their winning essays from a contest held by the Vermont
Division of the Blind and Visually Impaired and Vermont Adaptive.
Applicants had to write about how sports and recreation help other
aspects of their lives and how they would help spread the word to
other people about the importance of sports through the programs of
Vermont Adaptive and USABA.
Grant funding for this program is awarded by U.S. Paralympics, a
division of the U.S. Olympic Committee, through funding provided by
Veteran Affairs. The grants are provided to facilitate the growth
of Paralympic-sport programming for disabled Veterans and disabled
members of the Armed Forced.
For more information, visit www.usaba.org or contact: Mark
Lucas at USABA at: (719) 352-9134 or Tom Alcorn at VASS: (802)