Skis instead of wheels
The conquest of the snow-covered landscapes by people with disabilities is not easy to arrange. However with a little staying power and some innovative ideas a handicap can be overcome so that nothing stands in the way of having fun in the vast white splendor.
At the end of the 1970’s wheelchair users above all other disabled ski enthusiasts were the driving force behind the movement to conquer the ski-slopes. In those early days it was almost entirely individuals who were curving around the slopes with their own self made constructions. It was only in the 80’s that they organised conventions to make winter sports available to all wheelchair users. Shortly after the sports enthusiasts began to organise competitions.
Speeding down the slopes while seated
There was a concentration primarily on developing sit-skis, as it was mostly paraplegics who were initially interested in winter sports. In the mean time however the disabled skiers are just as quick and agile as their able bodied colleagues. Over time bright sparks, found ways for people with other disabilities to enjoy winter sports. Today, thankfully it is possible for nearly all winter sports enthusiasts to pursue their hobbies. In some cases all that is need is an accompanying person.
Good preparation is important
Preparation is indispensible to ensure that the day out in the snow is unadulterated fun. It is necessary to clarify if the facilities on location are barrier-free. In addition it is also important to find out if and how the ski-lift is monitored and where the emergency-stop button is located. It may also be necessary to contact someone at the ski resort before arrival. In this way one can be certain that everything is prepared for the skier and his/her equipment.
General information about snowsport for people with disabilties can be found under Ski 2 Freedom.
Pphoto: daniel stricker / pixelio.de