After a three-year hiatus, blind and visually impaired skiers and snowboarders returned to the slopes of Breckenridge, Colorado, for three fun-filled days in the snow, March 3-5. Seven skiers and several family members enjoyed a top-notch experience thanks to the staff and guides from the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center who helped with everything from equipment rentals, lessons, lunch at the slopes and dinner at the Griffith Lodge. The weekend was also made possible with support from Anthem and Architectural Surfaces.
One of the attendees was Antoine Craig (Richmond, Va.), a member of the USA Blind Soccer Men’s National Team. Although he had never tried snowboarding before, Craig was excited about the opportunity.
“I’ve been training for soccer for the last couple of months and I decided to take a break and align it with the ski festival that USABA was having,” said Craig. “Day one, I feel like I beat the mountain. Day two, the mountain beat me. And day three, I progressed to where I could handle the slopes a lot better. It’s definitely taken a lot of work and a lot of coaching.”
Returning for his third USABA ski event in Breckenridge was 17-year-old Cole Carper of Little Rock, Ark.
“The first day I worked on some technique stuff and we went over and skied a couple peaks,” said Carper. “The second day I got better at carving and using my poles better, and the final day I attempted and succeeded at skiing all five peaks at Breckenridge. I like the fact there are guides that can help me and who know how to instruct people who can’t see.”
Watch Cole Carper ski the slopes at Breckenridge below…
Other participants included 17-year-old Mary Rose Bushland (The Hills, Texas), siblings Logan (11) and Zoe Galloway (9) of Westminster, Colo., Deborah Groeber (Glenside, Pa.) and Hannah Chadwick (El Cerrito, Calif.), a member of the U.S. Paralympics Cycling National Team who tried both downhill and Nordic skiing during the weekend.