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Learning to Adaptive Ski:Event Holds Free Lessons

The rain cancelled events at the annual Winter Trails day in Ripton Vermont. It was a chance for adaptive skiers to receive free Nordic Ski lessons.
RIPTON, Vt.- The rain cancelled events at the annual Winter Trails day in Ripton Vermont.
It was a chance for adaptive skiers to receive free Nordic Ski lessons.
But an instructor and two skiers showed up anyway and braved the non - stop rain for a chance to learn how to ski.

Chad Allen and Chelsea Scheefer drove through the rain from Peru, New York to learn how to ski.
“I’ve never done any winter sports- and now that I’m in a wheelchair I figured it would be a perfect opportunity,” said Allen.
Allen is in a wheel chair after a motorcycle accident last summer left him paralyzed.
He's excited to ski, but has some reservations.
“I’m scared to tip over. He makes it look easy- but going over those hills - I’m a little nervous about that,” said Allen.
Luckily - Allen and Scheefer are learning from a pro.
“I have to go back to the Empire State Games in Lake Placid in two weeks to defend my gold medal,” said Patrick Standen, the President of the Northeast Disabled Athletic Association.
The free lesson is offered as a part of 'Winter Trails', a national movement to get people involved in Nordic skiing.
“It’s been an initiative with the governor's council and our sporting organization to try to bring adaptive or sit skiing to part of that,” said Standen.
A sit ski is a way to adapt skiing for people with physical disabilities.
“A lot of athletes we have, they might have suffered paralysis, amputation, or have a degenerative disease that limits their ability to ski upright - so we adapt the technology so they can get on the trails and enjoy the sport,” said Standen.
Even though the rain melted a lot of snow at the Rikert Nordic Center in Ripton, Vermont the trio still geared up a for a lesson.
As part of the free lesson, Standen says he goes over the basics.
“We teach them how to stop, speed check. We take them on the easiest trails that are flat and easy,” said Standen.
Standen says adaptive sports - including skiing has come a long way in the past decade.
And this initiative is an important step in getting people involved.
“It’s been a wonderful movement to watch this national movement grow and have resources and facilities completely accessible,” said Standen.
And Allen says he'll probably get back out there to try again when there's less rain.
“As long as this time goes well, then for sure,” said Allen.

Standen says adaptive skiing is a great way to get some exercise as a sit skier uses their upper body to move forward.


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