Veteran Rehabilitation Through Snow Sports

Close your eyes and relive your last powder day. Are you feeling your heart pump faster and your quads flex? How about that smile creeping across your face? We love skiing because it brings us unparalleled joy; it challenges us physically and mentally; the sport immerses us in nature. And when you finally ski that face you’ve been afraid of or land that trick you’ve been working on, you know that you can overcome any obstacle thrown in your path because you have conquered the mountain.

Adaptive ski and ride programs throughout the country seek to share these benefits with our military veterans who have sacrificed so much in the line of duty. Thanks to the incredible technological advances in adaptive ski equipment in the last decade, programs can successfully serve veterans living with spinal cord injuries, orthopedic amputations, visual impairments, and neurological injuries. The US Department of Veterans Affairs lauds adaptive sports programs for their contribution to better health and better quality of life for participating athletes.

And the coolest part – you can become an adaptive ski and ride trainer! The Telluride Adaptive Sports Program, one of the most highly acclaimed programs in the country, puts volunteers through a comprehensive three-day program that is supplemented with clinics for different disciplines, age groups, and levels of skill (beginners through expert and Paralympic athletes).

Connect with veterans in the winter sports community this March at the National Disabled Veteran Winter Sports Clinic in Snowmass, Colorado from March 29th – April 3rd, 2015. And connect locally with the adaptive ski and ride program at your local mountain. Our disabled military population deserves our support through sharing our love for skiing and riding. Let’s help empower those who, through their military service, have sacrificed so much for us.

By AI Blog contributor: Sophie Goodman