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Blind and Visually Impaired Skiers Learn to Ski in Breckenridge, CO

Posted March 3, 2013  Press Releases | Skiing

Anthem Life Insurance Company Sponsors USABA/BOEC Winter Ski Camp

The United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) is pleased to announce they will be hosting the 7th annual Winter Ski Camp in Breckenridge, Colorado, from Thursday, March 7 through Monday, March 11, thanks to generous support from the Anthem Life Insurance Company. For this event, USABA partners with the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center (BOEC) for lodging and trained ski guides, a key element for athletes who are blind and visually impaired. This year USABA and BOEC will provide two days of alpine skiing and one day of nordic skiing in the Rocky Mountains for up to 17 people, including Veterans and Active Duty Service Members who are blind and visually impaired.

“The goal of this program is to provide skiers who are blind and visually impaired with a chance to get out on the mountain and experience the thrill of alpine and Nordic skiing. It is our hope that by providing additional resources and skills, our participants will continue to ski at their nearest ski resorts, and that this sparks the desire to compete for some skiers,” said Mark Lucas, USABA’s executive director.

Speaking at this year’s event is Navy Lieutenant and Paralympic Gold Medalist, Brad Snyder. Brad was blinded on September 7, 2011, by an improvised explosive device (IED) blast in Afghanistan. Less than a year later, he competed at the 2012 London Paralympic games in the S11 (totally blind) category for swimming, where he set a Paralympic record and won two Gold Medals and one Silver Medal.

“When one hears about all of the accomplishments Brad has realized after losing his sight, it’s incredibly motivating,” said Bill Smith, president and general manager of Anthem Life. “If someone is born with a disability or becomes disabled, including visually impaired, a lot of things change in their life. However, this should not stop a person from getting outdoors and enjoying a healthy and active lifestyle that includes sports and physical activities. This is one of the reasons why I’m proud that we are once again sponsoring this ski event. It’s a very unique educational event for brokers, and it’s incredibly inspiring to be around these athletes.”

Trained guides and instructors are provided by BOEC, a Colorado non-profit organization that is committed to expanding the potential of people with disabilities and special needs through meaningful, educational and inspiring outdoor experiences.

“This event has so many positive outcomes,” said Smith. “People with visual impairments learn new skills so they can maintain an active lifestyle, and attendees can interact with Brad, who is a great role model for everyone.”

For more information, or for a schedule of events, contact Lacey Markle, public relations and event coordinator at (719) 229-9084.

About Anthem Life

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