U.S. Association of Blind Athletes Announces Second Annual Ski Festival

Nov. 06, 2008, 5:38 p.m. (ET)
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.--The United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) is proud to announce their Second Annual Winter Ski Festival in Killington, Vt., Fri., Jan. 16 through Sun. Jan 18.  Athletes with visual impairment will be given the opportunity to learn to ski or learn to race in the sports of alpine and nordic skiing, while spending an enjoyable weekend in the Green Mountains of Vermont. 

USABA in conjunction with Vermont Adaptive, the Gibney Family Foundation and U.S. Paralympics is proud to offer this recreational opportunity to individuals with visual impairments.  This event is open to all ages and all abilities.  Whether the participants are first-time skiers or competitive racers, the festival will be catered to each athlete's ability.

"USABA is extremely pleased to partner with Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sport,  the Gibney Family Foundation and U.S. Paralympics to provide a wonderful opportunity for blind and visually impaired skiers including military service members and veterans with eye injuries to further develop and enhance their alpine and Nordic skiing skills," said Mark Lucas, USABA's executive director.   "We are also excited to partner with the NE Chapter of the National Association of Parents of the Visually who will bring their children to participate in the ski programs while parents conduct support meetings to share information and resources for their children."

Guides and instructors are provided by Vermont Adaptive Ski & Sport, a non-profit organization located in Vermont, which is committed to empowering individuals with disabilities.  Vermont Adaptive will pair each blind and visually impaired skier with a trained ski guide to practice and learn skills in either genre of learn to ski or race.  All skill levels are welcome from beginner to advanced.

Participants will stay at a local hotel and will have transportation provided to them for the daily events.  The weekend will conclude with a banquet dinner held at the Killington Grand Hotel and will feature a key-note speaker of Paralympics stature.  Alpine skiing will be hosted at Pico Ski Resort in Killington, Vt.; while Nordic will be at Mountain Top Inn in Chittenden, Vt. 

This event will also be hosted as a Paralympic Academy.  Local Paralympic Academy events serve as an introduction to Paralympic sport and allow participants to try different activities.  The participants will also be introduced to the Paralympic sport of goalball and are encouraged to participate.

For more information or to attend this event contact Mark Lukas, USABA, at (719) 630-0422 or Donna Stanley, Vermont Adaptive, at (802) 353-7584.

USABA Ski Festival Application (PDF)

USABA Ski Festival Itinerary (PDF)

USABA Ski Festival Flier (PDF)

Since its founding in 1976, USABA, a community-based organization of the United States Olympic Committee, has reached more than 100,000 blind individuals. The organization has emerged as more than just a world-class trainer of blind athletes, it has become a champion of the abilities of Americans who are legally blind. USABA's Mission: to enhance the lives of blind and visually impaired people by providing the opportunity for participation in sports and physical activity.  For more information, please visit our Web site: http://www.usaba.org/