Some of the best athletes in the world are descending on Winter Park Resort. The athletes, ages 15 to 50, are competing in the 2012 International Paralympic Committee World Cup.
"They're better than 90 percent of the skiers on the mountain," said Erik Petersen, the Director of Competition for the National Sports Center for the Disabled.
All of the athletes have some sort of disability. Categories include Visually Impaired, Standing (Cerebral Palsy and Amputees), and Sitting (Spinal Cord Injuries and Amputees). "These guys are the best in the world, whether able bodied or not," Petersen said. "It's downright good ski racing."
A sit-ski athlete heads down the face of Winter Park. Photo Courtesy Winter Park Resort.
The World Cup races start Tuesday, March 6-9 and the public is encouraged to come out and watch. Mistalynn Lee with Winter Park said they're fortunate to have the National Sports Center for the Disabled based at the resort which means staff and guests are accustomed to skiing alongside athletes of all abilities.
"With our extensive experience with world-class race events and hosting countries who train with NSCD in Winter Park, we are the perfect mountain to host the IPC Alpine Skiing World Cup this year," Lee said. "It is a true honor and privilege to have these amazing athletes on our mountain."
Lee adds that local racers are also competing in the World Cup event.
"We wish all athletes the best of luck, but a highlight for those of us in Winter Park is to see our own NSCD athletes duke it out for a top spot on the podium at their home mountain," Lee said. "We are certainly looking forward to cheering on Alana Nichols and Adam Hall, plus other local athletes."
Ian Jansing has cerebral palsy. Photo Courtesy Tim Emling.
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