Disabled Sports USA (DS/USA) announced the schedule for its national DS/USA SkiTour winter ski series. From now through April the DS/USA SkiTour will include more than 80 events hosted by 40 DS/USA chapters and affiliates in 18 states. Events include beginner and elite ski races, race training, learn-to-ski and instructor training.
This year U.S. Paralympics has joined as a national partner of the SkiTour, to form partnerships among national, regional and local organizations to strengthen the national infrastructure of adaptive skiing programs and the pipeline of alpine skiing athletes for the 2014 and 2018 U.S. Paralympic Teams.
“By working together, U.S. Paralympics and DS/USA can provide greater winter sports opportunities for more youth and service members with physical disabilities,” Charlie Huebner, chief of Paralympics, United States Olympic Committee, said in a news release. “Our hope is that SkiTour will not only have a profound impact on building local programs, but also future generations of Paralympians.”
SkiTour includes internationally rated elite “NorAm” ski races that qualify United States and foreign ski racers for the international events, like the Paralympic Winter Games. It is the only national qualifying race series for ski racers attempting to qualify for the U.S. Disabled Alpine Championships.
The SkiTour schedule also includes the Diana Golden Level I Race Series for youth with physical disabilities, consisting of 15 races hosted in eight states in Far West, Sierra Nevada, Rocky Mountain and Northeast ski areas.
“The 2010 DS/USA Ski Tour provides skiing and snowboarding rehabilitation opportunities that teach people with disabilities that they can lead full and active lives with their physical challenges,” Kirk Bauer, executive director of DS/ USA and a disabled Vietnam veteran, said. “The confidence, dedication and commitment it takes to succeed on the mountain can be applied to other areas of life. They come away from their experience with the attitude ‘If I can do this, I can do anything.”