Tahoe Arts and Mountain Culture
Tahoe Arts and Mountain Culture

Disabled Sports Hosts 19th Annual Ability Celebration

Posted on April 5, 2013
Filed Under North Tahoe Events


Disabled Sports USA Far West, located at Alpine Meadows Resort, hosts its week-long Ability Celebration, March 230 – April 6. In celebration of Disabled Sports USA Far West’s accomplishments with adaptive sports and recreation for people with disabilities, a variety of events take place including the Wounded Warrior Ability Camp, Ability Challenge, and the Ability BASH on April 6, 2013.

The Ability Bash is the culmination of this week-long winter sports camp held for the 25 Wounded Warriors disabled in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. These men and women will be honored and recognized during the event through an uplifting presentation.

The Disabled Sports Program Center is located at Alpine Meadows and their Professional Ski Instructors of America certified instructors and trained volunteers make skiing or snowboarding possible for anyone with physical, cognitive or developmental disabilities.

This annual, week-long event invites veterans disabled in Iraq and Afghanistan to participate in adapted skiing and snowboarding and celebrates the abilities of people with disabilities and the powerful rehabilitation benefits of Disabled Sports USA Far West’s programs.

Annual Wounded Warrior Ability Ski & Snowboard Camp

As part of a week of skiing and celebration, 25 active-duty U.S. soldiers and marines disabled in Iraq and Afghanistan will ski Alpine Meadows’ slopes for the Wounded Warrior Ability Ski & Snowboard Camp.

Soldiers who were disabled in Iraq and Afghanistan will receive specialized instruction in adapted skiing and snowboarding at the Disabled Sports Program Center at Alpine Meadows. They will also participate in other winter recreation such as cross country skiing at Tahoe City Cross Country Ski Area, sled hockey at South Lake Tahoe Ice Arena, snowmobiling with Lake Tahoe Snowmobile Tours – all designed as part of their therapy and reintegration into the community. Part of what makes this camp possible is that Disabled Sports USA Far West is a Paralympic Sports Club, through US Paralympics, a division of the USOCUS Paralympics and Disabled Sports USA Far West.

“We’re honored to give something back to these brave men and women who have sacrificed so much to defend our freedoms,” said Haakon Lang-Ree, program director at Disabled Sports. “Our dedicated volunteers work hard to share their passion and expertise of snowsports with others who might not otherwise have the opportunity to enjoy these sports. We’re grateful to our generous sponsors and for the support of Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley who make the Ability Celebration week possible.”

Annual Disabled Sports Ability Challenge

This is a unique fundraiser for Disabled Sports USA Far West that offers a fun and challenging day for skiers and riders of all ages and abilities. Utilizing GPS technology, the Ability Challenge takes skiers around the mountain seeking checkpoints and revealing some of the most exciting runs that Alpine Meadows has to offer. In addition to the checkpoint course, the event features bonus challenges designed by pro-snowboarders Andy Finch and Iris Lazzareschi, a timed hike to an expert run, a costume contest and more. Teams of four to eight members are responsible for a team registration fee of $200 and then each member raises a minimum of $200. All proceeds benefit the programs of Disabled Sports USA Far West, based at Alpine Meadows, providing adaptive recreation to people with disabilities since 1967.

Annual Disabled Sports Ability Bash, April 6

The week culminates with the Annual Disabled Sports Ability Bash at the Olympic Village Lodge in Squaw Valley. This sold out event has been known as one of Lake Tahoe’s premier fundraising events offering guests an evening of gourmet cuisine, fine wines, microbrews, mystery raffle, a silent auction, dancing and more.

Disabled Sports USA Far West was started more than 40 years ago by World War II veteran, Jim Winthers, of the 10th Mountain Division. The chapter was founded by the World War II 10th Mountain Division in 1967 in order to offer support and rehabilitation to Vietnam veterans. The organization paved the way for adaptive sports and recreation for people with disabilities.


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