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Alpine Roundup: Danelle Umstead Provides An Inside Look At Visual Impairment, Classification Process

By Alex Abrams | May 27, 2021, 1:02 p.m. (ET)

Danelle Umstead competes in 2018. (Photo: Mark Reis)

Every other week we scour the web for the latest going on in the world of U.S. Para-cycling. Heres what you missed!

Danelle Umstead Takes Followers Into Her World

Ever been curious about the different levels of visual impairment, and the classification process Para athletes have to go through in order to compete?

Look no further than Danelle Umsteads Instagram account.

The three-time Paralympian and three-time bronze medalist shared some behind-the-scenes photos and insight into the different degrees of blindness as well as what shes able to see.

She writes, Last week I went into the Moran Eye Institute for the first part of my classifications. There they run a series of eye tests on me. Theyre really awkward and very uncomfortable. But she have to do what you Gotta do. Second part is I fly to Phoenix, Arizona, next week and they will run more tests.

There are three different classes, she continues, and although they all compete against one another their times are factored by how much they can or cannot see. Umstead is classified B2.

actually have no central vision and no peripheral vision,” she continues. I only have distorted light in between the two. I can sometimes make out shapes and objects as long as its close enough. There is no detail to my vision.



That wasnt all that Umstead shared recently.

Although she said shes feeling better than she has since she broke her leg in February 2019, shes been MIA because of surgery. Her photos included X-rays and shots of stitched and bandaged incisions up and down her leg.

I am pumped and motivated to be stronger than ever,” she wrote. No matter what I will never give up. Im back in the gym and going to be stronger than ever. Remember this setbacks are only an invitation for comebacks. And we all know this  I am the queen of comebacks.



Classifier Course Success

Speaking of classifications, World Para Snow Sports recently offered medical and sport professionals from around the world the chance to learn to become Para classifiers, and boy did they take advantage. Nearly 50 people from 21 countries — double the numbers organizers expected to register — took the online course in April and May to learn how to become an international qualifier in Para alpinePara snowboarding and Para Nordic skiing. This was the fifth qualifier course through World Para Snow Sports since 2014.

Read more about the course and feedback from participants.

Its A Big Deal!

Have you heard the news from Toyota? The manufacturer announced recently that, for the first time ever, its going to offer sponsorship money to every athlete named to the U.S. Paralympic Team in both this summers Tokyo Games and the Beijing Winter Games that follow in early 2022.
Para alpine gold medalist Andrew Kurka was among the U.S. athletes who shared the video on social media.



Breaking Ground

Construction on a new $2.5 million adaptive snow sports facility at Sugarbush Resort in Vermont is underway. The Mt. Ellen facility will be the second location for Vermont Adaptive and will include a three-floor, 4,000-square-foot space attached to the base lodge and will focus on accessibility for all to come enjoy time on the mountain.