First of its kind Paralympic ski camp hosted at Alpine Meadows with Achieve Tahoe and the High Fives Foundation
Four skiers were invited to 2016 Paralympic Nationals at Loon Mountain, N.H.
Two local non-profits, The High Fives Foundation and Achieve Tahoe hosted a 3-day race camp for some of the area’s rising stars in adaptive skiing from March 8th through the 10th. Adaptive skiing uses specialized equipment, such as monoskis, to allow people with a wide range of disabilities to take to the snow as dynamically as skiing without disabilities.
The camp was lead by renowned monoskiers Chris Devlin-Young (known as CDY), a US alpine skier owning the longest standing winning streak in US alpine skiing history, and Alana Nichols, who also holds multiple Paralympic medals. The duo gave campers professional-quality coaching on the fundamentals of skiing and advanced techniques in the racecourse.
“I’ve been ski racing for a long time, this is the first time I’ve seen two organizations come together to put on a recruiting camp like this,’” said Devlin-Young. “Every single camper has improved. We saw some very talented skiers from this area.”
Truckee’s High Fives Foundation paid the expenses for the 18 athletes in attendance at the camp. The High Fives Foundation is a nonprofit that gives grant funding to athletes who have suffered life-altering injuries. Grants are awarded to athletes for their rehabilitative goals, such as entering adaptive sports.
Achieve Tahoe, an adaptive ski school located at Alpine Meadows, provided volunteers, equipment and facilities for the campers.
Achieve Tahoe Program Coordinator Allie Ibsen said, “There was a variety of skill level among the participants. This enabled the advance skiers to thrive, and the intermediate skiers an opportunity to see what was possible through commitment and training.”
Roy Tuscany, executive director of the High Fives Foundation said, “Watching CDY teach is like watching a textbook in action.” Tuscany started the Foundation in 2009 after recovering from his own ski injury in the 2006. He was at Alpine Meadows observing the camp. “All of these athletes here are ripping skiers already, and have each taken it to their next level.”
Because the camps were in collaboration with the US Paralympics, four ski racers were awarded an invitation to the US Paralympic Nationals hosted at Loon Mountain, N.H from March 20-24th. Top racers from all over the United States congregated for four days of Paralympic-caliber alpine racing. The racers invited from this camp were Nick Fairall, 25 years old, Ricci Kilgore, 35 years old, Kalim Smith 40 years old, and Trevor Kennison 22 years old.
“The event was super fun and instructional,” said camp participant Nick Fairall, who has received previous rehabilitation grants from the High Fives Foundation. “It was great to have CDY coaching us on how to ski well. Having Achieve Tahoe there to improve our skills was inspirational, and I was just stoked to be involved.”
“It was truly a phenomenal camp,” said monoskier Karen Trolan who also attended the camp. “It made an immense difference in my skiing and my excitement for the Paralympics.”
ABOUT THE HIGH FIVES FOUNDATION
High Fives Non-Profit Foundation, based in Truckee, CA, became an official 501c.3 non-profit on January 19, 2009. Founded by Roy Tuscany, the Tahoe-based Foundation supports the dreams of mountain action sports athletes by raising injury prevention awareness while providing resources and inspiration to those who suffer life-altering injuries. Since 2009, the Foundation has helped 104 athletes from 22 states. For more information, visit www.highfivesfoundation.
ABOUT ACHIEVE TAHOE
Our mission is to provide affordable inclusive physical and recreational activities that build health and confidence. Achieve Tahoe has continued its rehabilitation orientation and remains dedicated to the belief that sports are a vital part of the process in which individuals with disabilities gain self-confidence, mobility, and greater independence. Our programs promote education, socialization and employment. They help turn tragedy into triumph by instilling in participants the knowledge that it’s not their disabilities, but their abilities that count. For more information, visit www.achievetahoe.org
ABOUT THE US OLYMPIC COMMITTEE
Mission Statement -To support U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes in achieving sustained competitive excellence while demonstrating the values of the Olympic Movement, thereby inspiring all Americans. For more information, visit www.teamusa.org