Skiers with Disabilities Hit the Slopes for 8th Annual Great Lakes Mono-Ski Madness Learn-To-Ski Event.
Courage Center Duluth's annual Great Lakes Mono-Ski Madness is the largest adapted learn-to-ski event in the Midwest. It kicks off at Spirit Mountain Ski Area in Duluth this Wednesday, Feb. 23, and concludes with Race Day on Friday, Feb. 25.
This year's event includes a number of military veterans with service-related injuries or disabilities who participate in Operation Liberty. This program, administered by Courage Center's Sports and Recreation Department receives funding from the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) to expand recreation activities to veterans with disabilities. Vets from Minnesota, South Dakota and Illinois will be at Spirit Mountain this week participating in Mono-Ski Madness.
"This amazing event brings together skiers and instructors from across the Midwest to work with mono skiers to advance their skiing abilities," said Eric Larson, director, Courage Center Duluth. "Daily clinics are followed by evening sessions of movement analysis from video we film of skiers that day."
The event provides a unique and dramatic opportunity for people with disabilities, ages 8 and up, to receive a high level of instruction. The goal: to become independent mono skiers (highest functioning sit skiers with a goal of competition). Participants learn valuable tips to improve their skiing and try out the latest adaptive equipment. They also get a chance to socialize with their peers. Over the three days, participants learn from and ski with Olympic-caliber skiers and their skiing skills are critiqued by ski instructors and peers. For many, the experiences at this event lead to life-long participation in sports and a healthier lifestyle.
Mono-Ski Madness is made possible by a grant from the Van Gorden Fund of the Duluth based Miller-Dwan Foundation.
About Operation Liberty -Operation Liberty is funded by a grant from the Department of Defense through the USOC. The goal is to provide sports and recreation opportunities to help vets rediscover their athletic abilities following an injury or disability, and to reintroduce them to activities they enjoyed before their injury. In addition to alpine skiing, vets participate in curling, Nordic skiing, adapted golf, archery and biking.
About Courage Center Duluth: Courage Center Duluth provides adapted sports and recreation programs to people with disabilities in and around the Duluth area. It has served residents of the Twin Ports community since 1979 by providing year-round sports and recreation programs for children, families and adults with disabilities. The programs are supported by more than 150 community volunteers and funded in large part by the generosity of individuals, businesses and corporations.
Courage Center Duluth is part of Minnesota-based Courage Center, a non-profit rehabilitation and resource center that advances the lives of children and adults experiencing barriers to health and independence. Courage Center specializes in treating brain injury, spinal cord injury, stroke, chronic pain, autism, and disabilities experienced since birth. Founded in 1928, Courage Center offers advanced technologies and innovation provided in part through the efforts of thousands of volunteers and donors.