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NSCD Competition Athletes

National Sports Center for the Disabled 2018 Winter Paralympic Athlete Hopefuls

Overview

Total Athletes Training at the NSCD Competition Center: 26
Total Americans: 17
Total International Athletes: 9

American Athletes

Jasmin Bamber

Winter Park, CO

Disability: Spinal Cord Injury

NSCD Athlete: 2007-Present

2017-18 U.S. Paralympics Alpine National Team, A team

Paralympic Sport: Alpine Skiing – Downhill, Slalom, Giant Slalom, Super-G, Super Combined

When he was 12 years old, Bambur and his family fled Bosnia because of war. His father located a home in the U.S. for him through a high school foreign exchange program. He excelled in the U.S. and joined multiple sports teams before finding his passion in team handball. In 2000, he played for the U.S. National Handball Team while enrolled as a student at Middle Georgia College. One night after training, Bambur fell asleep at the wheel, crashing his car and sustaining a spinal cord injury which made him a paraplegic. He struggled with depression after his injury, but a visit from 1992 Paralympic gold medalist Bert Burns opened his eyes. Bambur tried wheelchair tennis and basketball, along with waterskiing before he picked up skiing. He competed at the Paralympic Winter Games Vancouver 2010 for Serbia, to become the first ever winter Paralympian in Serbian history. In 2010 he was granted his U.S. citizenship, and he was named a member of the U.S. Paralympics Alpine Skiing National Team beginning in 2012. He competed at the Paralympic Winter Games Sochi 2014 for Team USA.

Paralympic Experience

  • Two-time Paralympian (2014)
  • Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, 7th (super-G), 17th (giant slalom)
  • Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games, 9th (downhill) – representing Team Serbia

World Championship Experience

  • Most recent: 2017 – 9th (super combined), 12th (downhill, giant slalom, slalom), 19th (super-G)
  • Years of Participation: 2009, 2011, 2015, 2017
  • Top Finish: 5th – 2015 (slalom)

 

Jamie Stanton

Clinton Township, MI

Disability:  Amputee

NSCD Athlete: 2011-Present

2017-18 U.S. Paralympics Alpine National Team, A team

Paralympic Sport:  Alpine Skiing – Downhill, Slalom, Giant Slalom, Super-G, Super Combined

Stanton has become a breakout star since his debut with the U.S. Paralympics Alpine Skiing National Team. Since then, he has continued his rapid rise to the top. As a freshman at the University of Denver, Stanton received the university’s prestigious Freshman of the Year Award in 2013. He was born with fibular hemimelia, a growth deficiency of the fibula, and thus had his right leg amputated below the knee at age six. He skied for the first time when he was 3 years old and has played able-bodied sports for most of his life. He was introduced to Paralympic sport in 2011, when a friend convinced him to enter the Michigan Adaptive Sports State Championships ski races. After winning back-to-back titles at the state championships, Stanton was introduced to Erik Petersen of the National Sports Center for the Disabled. Petersen brought Stanton to his first race camp in Breckenridge, Colorado, and from there, Stanton was hooked on international competition. He represented Team USA at the Paralympic Winter Games Sochi 2014. Named 2016 Adaptive Athlete of the Year by the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame. Named Male Athlete of the Month for January 2016 by the United States Olympic Committee.

Paralympic Experience

  • Paralympian (2014)
  • Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, 6th (super-G), 13th (super combined), 22nd (slalom)

World Championship Experience

  • Most recent: 2017 – 4th (slalom), 13th (giant slalom), 20th (super-G)
  • Years of Participation: 2017
  • Top Finish: 4th – 2017 (slalom)

 

Tyler “TC” Carter

Topton, PA

Disability:  Amputee

NSCD Athlete: 2007 – present

Paralympic Sport:  Alpine Skiing – Downhill, Slalom, Giant Slalom, Super-G, Super Combined

2017-18 U.S. Paralympics Alpine National Team, C team

Paralympic Skier, yogi, motivational speaker, and youth mentor lost his right leg below the knee at the age of one. Tyler joined the NSCD Alpine Skiing Team 12 years ago. Making the 2014 U.S. Paralympic Team, Tyler competed in the Sochi Winter Paralympic Games in the Giant Slalom Event. He has competed at World Cup and World Championship Events since then. Currently Tyler is training for the Pyeongchang, South Korea Paralympic Winter Games in 2018. A huge believer in giving back, Tyler especially enjoys promoting living healthy and active lifestyles with youth and individuals with disabilities. He only recently found his passion for yoga and is currently studying to become a teacher so that he will have another avenue to help others. Tyler also works with schools and youth around the country giving motivational speeches and mentoring students.

Career Highlights

  • 2014: Paralympic Winter Games, 27th giant slalom; U.S. Paralympics Alpine Skiing National Championships, 3rd slalom; Huntsman Cup, 3rd giant slalom; World Cup Copper Mountain, 20th giant slalom run 1, 24th giant slalom run 2, 22nd slalom; NorAm Winter Park, 6th giant slalom run 1, 8th slalom and giant slalom run 2
  • 2013: NorAm Copper Mountain, 13th slalom, 16th giant slalom run 1, 17th giant slalom run 2, 21st super-G run 1, 19th super-G run 2
  • 2012: NorAm Winter Park, 8th giant slalom and super-G; NorAm Copper Mountain, 14th slalom, 13th giant slalom, 13th super-G run 1, 15th super-G run 2; U.S. Championships, 10th super-G

 

Katrina Schaber

San Diego, CA

Disability:  Cerebral Palsy

NSCD Athlete: 2010

Paralympic Sport:  Alpine Skiing –  Slalom, Giant Slalom, Super-G

2017-18 U.S. Paralympics Alpine National Team, C team

Katrina learned her love of skiing from her mother at a young age, although it wasn’t love at first run!  Katrina wasn’t diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy until she was 8 years old.  Up until that point, she was struggling with the able-bodied skiers and was frustrated that she wasn’t keeping up.  Shortly after Katrina’s diagnosis, her mother happened to be attending a medical seminar where she heard a lecture about the NSCD ski camp.  Katrina was hooked on skiing after the first camp she attended and started competitive skiing by the 6th grade.  She started seriously training by the time she was in 9th grade with her first adaptive coach, Mau Thompson, at Copper Mountain.  This is Katrina’s 4th season at the NSCD Comp Center and gives much kudos to her coaches and team mates.  “They are my ski family!” They make training for the 2018 Paralympic Games fun.  Katrina is currently enrolled at Mira Costa Community College when she isn’t training.  She is studying to become a history teacher.

 


 

Spencer Wood

Pittsfield, VT

Disability:  Cerebral Palsy

NSCD Athlete: 2014

Paralympic Sport:  Alpine Skiing – Slalom, Giant Slalom

2017-18 U.S. Paralympics Alpine National Team, C team

 

Spencer was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at birth, but his parents did not tell him of his disability until he was in the 4th grade.  “I’m still thankful for that.”  He never let his disability slow him down before he knew about it, so he saw no reason to let it impact him now.  Spencer grew up in a ski town and started skiing at age 2.  He started ski racing at the age of 5 along with all of his friends and attended a ski academy through high school.  Spencer learned about NSCD Competition Center in 2014 and started training with the NSCD.  Spencer attends CU Boulder and is training for the 2018 Paralympics.

 


 

Allison Kunkel

Chicago, IL

Disability:  Amputee

NSCD Athlete: 2014

Paralympic Sport:  Alpine Skiing – Slalom, Giant Slalom, Super-G

2017-18 U.S. Paralympics Alpine National Team, C team

 


 

Joy Rondeau

Granby, CO

Disability: Cerebral Palsy

NSCD Athlete: 1996-Present

Paralympic Sport: Nordic Biathlon

2017-18 U.S. Paralympics Nordic Skiing National Team

 

Joy was born with cerebral palsy, which mainly affects the lower half of her body.  At eight years old, Joy first tried skiing at Winter Park with the NSCD.  She trained and raced throughout her teenage years and now thirteen years later, Joy has moved back to Grand County at age 26 to join the NSCD again.  During the summer of 2013, Joy met one of NSCD’s Nordic coaches, Mark Birdseye, who convinced her to try cross-county skiing.  Joy starting hitting the gym hard to get ready for the 2014/2015 season and even though it’s a lot of hard work, she loves it! Joy says that it’s definitely given her a better quality of life.  Joy has her eyes set on making the US Nordic Team and competing in the 2018 Paralympics.

 

 


Alana Nichols

Farmington, NM

NSCD Athlete: 2008-present

Paralympic Sport: Alpine Skiing – Downhill, Slalom, Giant Slalom, Super-G, Super Combined

Alana is a three-sport phenomenon in wheelchair basketball, alpine skiing and now para-canoe. She grew up in Farmington, N.M., and was an avid snowboarder throughout her youth. In 2002, however, Nichols landed back-first on a rock while attempting a backflip on her snowboard. The injury caused her to be paralyzed from the waist down. Nichols didn’t let her athletic career stop there, though, as she began playing wheelchair basketball just two years later. Her talent in the sport ultimately took her to the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, where she and Team USA earned gold. Shortly after the Beijing Games, Nichols moved to Colorado and picked up adaptive alpine skiing through the NSCD in Winter Park. At the Vancouver 2010 Winter Paralympic Games, Nichols earned two gold medals, one silver and one bronze in alpine skiing events, becoming the first female athlete in history to win gold medals in both the summer and winter Paralympic Games.  In Sochi, Alana brought home a silver medal from the downhill event.  Alana focused on para-canoe and will now set her sights on winning enough points to be named to the 2017-18 U.S. Paralympics Alpine National Team.

Paralympic Experience

  • 2014 Paralympic Winter Games: silver downhill, 4th giant slalom; U.S. Paralympics Alpine Skiing National Championships, 2nd slalom; Huntsman Cup, 1st giant slalom, 2nd slalom; World Cup Panorama, 2nd downhill, 2nd super-G, 3rd super combined; World Cup Copper Mountain, 5th giant slalom, 5th slalom; NorAm Aspen, 1st downhill; NorAm Winter Park, 1st giant slalom, 2nd slalom; U.S. Paralympics Alpine Skiing National Championships, 1st downhill and super-G
  • 2012 Paralympic Games: 4th (wheelchair basketball)
  • 2010 Paralympic Winter Games: gold downhill and giant slalom, silver super-G, bronze super combined
  • 2008 Paralympic Games: 1st (wheelchair basketball)

 

Patrick Halgen

Toland, CT

Disability:  Amputee

NSCD Athlete: 2016 – present

Paralympic Sport: Alpine Skiing

 

After his left leg was amputated above the knee, Patrick decided to give ski racing a try.  He joined the Master’s Ski Series, a college race program, where he gathered any tip he could garner.  While racing in Loon, Patrick met Adam Hall who told him about the NSCD Competition Center.  He has been training full time and loves how Alpine racing makes him stay focused and feel happy.  When Patrick isn’t training on the snow he stays outside as much as possible, unless he is in the kitchen.  He proclaims himself the best chef in the NSCD Competition Center.  His goal is to also be proclaimed the best one-legged skier in the world! Favorite movie:  Any Given Sunday (huge Al Pacino fan)

 

 

 


 

Joshua Scanlon

Watertown, Minnesota

Disability: Spinal Cord Injury – T-10 Complete

NSCD Athlete: 2016 – present

Paralympic Sport: Alpine Skiing

 

Josh was an aspiring gymnast, when at age 12 he missed a landing and fractured his lower spine.  Since the injury was so localized, Josh transferred his love of adrenaline from gymnastics to skiing within a few short months.  He first came out to Winter Park about 10 years ago after hearing about the NSCD program through Scott Olson.  But Josh wasn’t ready to make the leap – he finished high school, where he played on the wheel chair basketball team and started a career in welding after he graduated.  It took his fiancée, Danielle, to make the final push.  “It was now or never” to leave their careers and to give competitive skiing his full focus.  Both Josh and Danielle are so happy about their decision.  Danielle, a Special Education teacher, is currently in charge of the NSCD Therapeutic Lessons Desk at Winter Park and Josh is working hard to make the Paralympic Team.

 


 

Todd Taylor

Phoenix, AZ

Disability:  Visually Impaired

NSCD Athlete: 2016 – present

Paralympic Sport: Alpine Skiing

 

Todd grew up skiing and after college became a ski patroller at Deer Valley.  As Utah geared up for the 2002 Winter Olympics, Todd was hired as an engineer to plan and design the infrastructure that had to be added.  But as the Olympics ended, so did the work and his company moved him to Phoenix where he became the City of Scottsdale’s Principle Traffic Engineer.  In 2014, Todd started to lose his eye sight.  He had to take early medical retirement in October of 2016.  Todd gives the NSCD Competition Center credit for giving him a new identity.  For a couple of decades, he was an engineer – now his is a Paralympic Racer.  There is life after full time employment!  Todd is training to go to the Paralympics by 2022.  He only started racing last year and he and his guide won 3 silver medals at this years Huntsman Cup in Park City.  They won silver in two GS and one slalom event.

 


 

Tom Overton

Fort Collins, CO

Disability:  Spinal Cord Injury

NSCD Athlete: 2016 – present

Paralympic Sport: Alpine Skiing

 

Tom has been skiing at Winter Park for the past 30+ years.  After an accident while mountain biking in 2012, Tom didn’t want to abandon sports.  He had always seen and heard about NSCD over his many years at the resort and as soon as he was able, Tom joined up to relearn how to ski and compete.  The NSCD gives Tom and all people with disabilities, improved access to skiing and a competition program. Competing is vital for him to keep competing.  Tm was a dentist before his accident but had to retire and is now active with a local Ft. Collins non-profit.  His ultimate goal is to get on that podium!

 


 

Larry Martin (photo right)

Lake Hopatcong, NJ

Disability:  Visually Impaired

NSCD Athlete: 2012 – present

Paralympic Sport: Alpine Skiing

 

Larry is semi-retired and the former CEO of AGO Insurance Software, Inc. Larry has Retinitis Pigmentosa, a condition where the night vision capability and peripheral vision are deteriorating.  Larry learned to ski thirty years ago with his friend Gary. When Larry’s vision started deteriorating over 15 years ago, Gary volunteered to guide Larry so he could continue to ski.  When this duo inquired at the NSCD lesson desk on how to perfect guided skiing, they immediately sent them over to the NSCD Competition Center once they realized the duo’s ability. They trained part time with the NSCD Competition team for a few years.  Larry now trains and competes with Brad Washburn, a former NSCD competition athlete.

 


 

Brad Washburn

Tabernash CO

Disability: Amputee

NSCD Athlete: 2002 – 2010

Paralympic Sport: Alpine Skiing

 

Brad was born without a fibula and when he was 11 months old his leg was amputated below his knee.  Brad, originally from Littleton, CO learned to ski with the NSCD and eventually joined the Alpine Ski Team.  Brad was the top junior in 2003 at the U.S. championships.  Brad’s training started to pay off in 2006 when he was named to the US Disabled Paralympics team and traveled to Torino, Italy to compete.  In 2007 he was named to the US Disabled Team.  For his first full year on the World Cup circuit, Brad finished with several top 10 finishes.  At the 2007 U.S. Championships he was the Slalom Champion.  Three years ago at a major fundraiser for the US Disabled Team Brad raised money by auctioning his long red hair to be shaved off.  After competing in the 2010 Paralympics in Vancouver, Brad decided to take a break from full-time race training and is currently a full time guide for ski racer Larry Martin.

 


 

Kyle Taulman

Steamboat Springs, CO

 

Disability:  Spinal Cord Injury

NSCD Athlete: 2015 – present

Paralympic Sport: Alpine Skiing

 

Kyle is 15 years old and lives in Steamboat Springs, CO.  When Kyle was 2 he was diagnosed with Stage 3 High Risk Neuroblastoma. The tumor wrapped around his spine and caused a spinal cord injury at T10. Kyle defied all the odds and 1 year after he was paralyzed he was on the slopes learning to bi-ski at age 3. Kyle took to the slopes and developed a love of racing after participating in the STARS Development Race Team in 2014 and 2015. Since then he has set a personal goal for himself to go to the Paralympics and represent his county on the podium as well as putting Steamboat on the map for not just developing Olympians but also Paralympians. Kyle is determined to live life to the fullest and has never let his disability define him. Kyle’s other interest include singing, participating in musicals, swimming, travel, and computer programming.

 


 

Mark Urich

Big Sky, MT

Disability: Amputee

NSCD Athlete: 2010 – Present

Paralympic Sport: Alpine Skiing

 

Mark was born with a femoral deformity, and at the age of 2, his lower leg was amputated and fit for prosthesis. As Mark grew, so did his desire to compete in sports, encouraged by his mother’s observation that “You are only as disabled as you want to be.” The outdoors was Mark’s playground for baseball, football, cycling, rock climbing, crewing, and finally, skiing. Mark’s friend and teammate, Alana Nichols, introduced him to adaptive skiing in 2010. Mark put on his first ski at Winter Park in December of 2010, and found a new passion…going FAST! He started training full time with the NSCD and soon thereafter began to compete in earnest, placing 9th in Downhill at the U.S. Nationals in Alyeska, Alaska. He has since skied in many competitions and continues to progress his racing career, shaving seconds off his speed with every race. Mark resides in Big Sky, Montana where he is enjoying the outdoor lifestyle, extreme skiing and bashing gates in Big Sky. He is actively training with a focus on the 2018 Winter Paralympics in Korea.

 


 

Randy Wrenn

Blowing Rock, NC

Disability:  Visually Impaired

NSCD Athlete: 2016- present

Paralympic Sport: Alpine Skiing

When Randy was 12 years old, his eyesight started failing him.  He was diagnosed with Star-Garte Syndrome which is a lifelong degenerative disease of the optic nerve.   Within one year Randy lost the majority of his eyesight.  Since Randy has been skiing since the age of 10, before his eyesight was compromised, he continued on.  “It is the perfect sport for this disease because the contrast is so good; white versus all other colors.”  Randy started skiing back in Hawks Nest Ski/Golf Resort where he became the Mountain Manager.  When the ski area closed, he moved over to Sugar Mountain where he was on the Ski Patrol.  Randy has always loved competing and when he came out to Winter Park to compete in the Nastar Championships 4 years ago (where he won 8th overall), he discovered NSCD.  His goal is to make the US Paralympic Team.

 


 

INTERNATIONAL ATHLETES

 

Corey Peters

Wanaka, New Zealand

Disability:  Spinal Cord Injury

NSCD Athlete: 2011 – present

Paralympic Sport: Alpine Skiing

 

In September 2009 while racing motor cross in Taupo, Corey overshot the landing of a table top and broke his back.  Two years later, Corey tried mono-skiing for the first time and fell in love with the new sport.  Adam Hall was training with NSCD’s coach, Scott Olson in New Zealand and Scott quickly saw Corey’s natural athletic abilities on the hill.  He invited Corey to come train in Winter Park for the 2011-2012 season and he has been back every season since.  Corey was named to New Zealand’s Alpine Team and competed in the 2014 Paralympics bring home a silver medal in GS.  He also placed 4th in Super Combined and 6th in Super-G.  In the 2014-2015 season, Corey placed 3rd overall in the World Champs and received a bronze in GS.   Corey now has he eyes set on the 2018 Paralympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

 


 

Adam Hall

Wanaka, New Zealand

Disability: Spina Bifida

NSCD Athlete: 2002-Present

Paralympic Sport: Alpine Skiing

 

Adam was born in New Zealand and is a member of the New Zealand Disabled Ski Team, training here in Winter Park.  Adam is the son of a dairy farmer and also works the dairy when he is not training. Adam has been a member of the NSCD Alpine Ski Team for over 14 years.  He was the 2007 winner of the WFC World Disabled Invitational and also received the 2007 Steven J. Ricci Award for his exceptional leadership abilities.   Adam is a three-time Paralympian, racing in 2006, 2010, and most recently Sochi, Russia in 2014.  In the 2010 Vancouver games, Adam brought home a gold medal from the Slalom event.  In 2014, Adam was the World Cup Slalom Globe winner – winner of overall Slalom World Cup circuit.  Adam continues to find himself on the podium at almost every race he competes in and is now training for the 2018 games

 


 

Aaron Ewen

Tuakau, New Zealand

Disability:  Paralyzed T-12

NSCD Athlete: 2015 – present

Paralympic Sport: Alpine Skiing

 

Aaron had just turned 16 when during a downhill mountain bike race in his native New Zealand, he crashed on a jump, went over his handle bars and hit a tree.  He hasn’t lost his love of speed and competition so when he came to Winter Park to free ski, he discovered the NSCD Competition Center.  He is back at Winter Park to train full time.  His goal is to make it to the 2018 Paralympics in Pyeongchang.  Aaron has stayed close to his first love, Downhill Mountain biking, and when he isn’t training, he works as a bike technician.

 


 

Samuel Tate

Dundin, New Zealand

Disability:  Erbs Palsy

NSCD Athlete: 2011 – present

Paralympic Sport: Alpine Skiing

 

Sam was diagnosed with Erbs Palsy at 3 months old.  As the result of physical trauma during his birth, Sam has severe nerve damage on his left side.  Since Sam has always loved sports he tried skiing at the age of 12 and excelled.  By the start of only his second year skiing, he was moved into the advanced program and took gold among the local racers.  Sam was moved into a larger program in New Zealand and once he was winning races in the junior’s program, he was moved into a program to compete with adults.  Sam has been training at Winter Park a few weeks a year for the past several years and now trains full time with the NSCD Competition Center.  Sam loves to go fast and he credits the NSCD program and skiing with building his confidence.  Sam is training hard so he can represent New Zealand at the 2018 Paralympics.

 


 

Scott Farquhar

Aberdeen, Scotland

Disability:  Spinal Cord Injury and Traumatic Brain Injury

NSCD Athlete: 2014 – present

Paralympic Sport: Alpine Skiing

 

Scott has always loved sports and he never let the fall off a 40 foot tall wall change that.  He met Sophie Elwes at a tennis camp and she told him about NSCD.  Scott got to come out to Winter Park for the first time in 2014 for a week and then expanded his trip to 3 weeks in 2015.  He continues to expand his training at the NSCD. Scott splits his time between the NSCD in Winter Park and the British team in London.  Race training and learning the course really helps with his short-term memory issues which are a result of his TBI.  Without question, the NSCD Competition Center has made Scott a better skier and the coaching staff has been inspirational.  Scott also loves that he has gotten to meet so many other skiers with different disabilities from all over the world.

 


 

Michael Foti

Jindabyne Australia

Disability:  Spinal Cord Injury – L-1

NSCD Athlete: 2015 – present

Paralympic Sport: Alpine Skiing

 

Mike has always loved sports, especially snowboarding.  In 2014 Mike was a Level 1 Snowboard Instructor, about to take his Level 2 Certification exams at Fernie, BC.  After a huge snowfall, Mike and friends were out free boarding when he saw a roller that looked like a perfect jump.  Unfortunately the roller was hiding the flat cat-track just below.  Mike landed flat and hard on his backside breaking his lower back.  But he couldn’t stay away from the sport.  Once back in Australia, he moved to the mountains, got a job at a ski rental and snowboard shop and taught himself to mono-ski.  He met Mark Sawyer, a former NSCD competition athlete, and found out about the NSCD.  Mike sold his van to have enough money to come to Winter Park to train with the NSCD for the season with the goal of making the 2022 Paralympic Games.  “I’m all in!”  Mike credits the NSCD coaches and staff with improving his skiing skills like no other, both on and off the runs.

 


 

Scott Hillier

Bristol, United Kingdom

Disability:  Spinal Cord Injury

NSCD Athlete: 2011 – present

Paralympic Sport: Alpine Skiing

 

On the 10th of March 2007, whilst training for the upcoming motocross season Scott was riding at a local track in Somerset, UK, when he made a mistake going over a jump which shattered his T5 vertebrae, broke several ribs, collarbone and other minor injuries.   As a result Scott was paralyzed from the chest down and spent the next 6 months in a spinal rehab unit and the next 2-3 years struggling to use crutches.  He refused anything that had to do with a wheelchair or even getting to know anyone else in a wheelchair.  Scott credits the charity organization called ‘The Backup Trust’ and the trip to Winter Park, where he learned to mono-ski, with changing his view on disabilities.  In 2011 Scott returned to Winter Park to train for alpine ski racing for the month of January.  He loved racing it but had to start working full time as an IT business analyst.  He always wanted to train full time, but felt he couldn’t afford to.  Sophie Elwes, another NSCD athlete, motivated Scott to quit and pursue his dream.  “Now is the time to go for it!”  Scott has step by step goals: first is to really get comfortable with gates and learn how to attack the course in GS, slalom and Super G.  His ultimate goal is to make the 2022 Paralympic Team.

 


 

Laurie Squirrell

Suffolk, United Kingdom

Disability:  Spinal Cord Injury – T-5

NSCD Athlete: 2015 – present

Paralympic Sport: Alpine Skiing

 

About 12 years ago, Laurie, winning a top sponsorship by VANS, was competing in the Woman’s World Championship Motocross.  During a practice run she crashed fracturing her back.  Still a self-admitted speed and adrenaline junkie, Laurie first came out to Winter Park from the UK to learn to ski through The Back-Up Charity, the organization that also brought out Sophie Elwes, Scott Hillier and Scott Farquhar.  Laurie says that NSCD has been life changing, it gave her ambition again!  And both the town and resort of Winter Park has made it so easy, all the facilities are close by and accessible so all the worry of traveling has been removed.  “The UK does not have adaptive programs like NSCD.”  Laurie has just completed her degree in Education and Childhood Studies, but has put her career on the back burner.  She has committed the next 6 years to alpine ski training and racing – planning to “winter hop” until she can compete in the 2022 Paralympics in Beijing and “Bring home gold!”

 


 

Johan Strandmark

Limhamn, Sweden

Disability:  Amputee

NSCD Athlete: 2015 – present

Paralympic Sport: Alpine Skiing

 

Johan has lived with Type I diabetes since he was 11 years old.  Coupled with bad nerves/bone structure in his feet Johan lost his left foot 4 years ago.  He has been having enough trouble with his right foot, that he knows he will soon have to have it amputated as well.  Johan started Alpine Racing in 2014 in Europe where he learned about the NSCD program through other Swedish racers and coaches.  He came to Colorado, which is much further south, to train full time last year.  “There is much more time to train here.  There is more light.”  Johan loves to compete because it makes him feel alive again.  Back home in Sweden, Johan enjoys playing sled hockey when he isn’t working in the power industry.  His ultimate goal is to compete in the 2018 Paralympics in Pyeonchang – but also to just have fun.