KILLINGTON — The United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA), in partnership with Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports, will once again host their annual Winter Ski Festival at Pico Mountain in Killington, Feb. 5-8. The event, in its ninth year, is one of the largest annual gatherings in the United States of skiers who are blind and visually impaired.
More than 20 athletes who are blind or visually impaired will ski or race in both Alpine and Nordic skiing in the renowned Green Mountains of Vermont. Athletes will attend the event from throughout the country; among them are seven veterans plus participants from the LEAP program in Burlington.
The weekend includes skiing or snowboarding, Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, biathlon target shooting, all food and lodging, as well as a celebratory banquet on Saturday night.
The festival is open to athletes with visual impairments of all ages, abilities and ski levels. Vermont Adaptive, the largest year-round disabled sports non-profit organization in Vermont, will provide trained guides and equipment. Vermont Adaptive is committed to empowering individuals with disabilities.
This year Vermont Adaptive has acquired an Eko-Aims Rifle and Biathlon Target, made possible by a Veteran’s Administration grant. The laser rifle is designed to help train visually impaired athletes using auditory signals to guide their aim, and it will be used at the USABA Winter Ski Festival this year.
“We are very excited about this piece of equipment because it will also enable us to do more local programming with visually impaired athletes, in particular our veterans from the White River Junction Veterans Administration,” said Vermont Adaptive Senior Program Coordinator Tom Alcorn.
For more information, visit www.usaba.org or contact Tom Alcorn at [email protected].