Adaptive skiing program comes to Empire State Winter Games

LAKE CHAMPLAIN - Those who still desire to glide across the snow while coping with conditions that prevent them from doing so under normal circumstances will now have the chance to compete in the Empire State Games and spend a weekend learning the sport of adaptive skiing.

Adirondack Adaptive Adventures will host the first-ever Adirondack Adaptive cross-country Ski Camp on the weekend of Feb. 25 through Feb. 27 at the Olympic cross-country ski complex at Mount Van Hoevenburg.

"There are two parts to the weekend," Josh Wilson of Adirondack Adaptive Adventures said. "This will be a weekend-long camp for adaptive Nordic skiers that will include an instruction portion of the weekend and then a chance to compete in the Empire State Games."

The camp will begin on Friday, Feb. 25, and will feature top-level coaching staff and clinics for standing, sitting, and visually impaired skiers, including Jon Kreamelmyer, the U.S. Paralympics cross-country skiing development coach. All camp activities are designed for skiers with physical disabilities who are interested in learning new training and adaptive Nordic skiing competition techniques.

In addition to the training camp, the Empire State Games has created an adaptive cross-country ski division, and camp participants are invited to compete in a sanctioned race on Sunday, Feb. 27.

"They will get the chance to learn how to ski in a way that is specific to their disability," Wilson said. "It is a chance to learn how to ski or to learn how to ski better. It's a chance for people to try it out and have some fun in the snow."

Wilson said that this is the first winter event that the organization has done.

"We formed a couple of years ago and focused on summer outdoor activities like canoeing and hiking," Wilson said. "This is the first year that we have put a winter event together and we hope that this will continue and grow."

Event details and registration are available online at http://links.nensa.net/adirondack-camp. The cost is $135 per person for the weekend training camp, which includes 2 nights lodging and meals at the Olympic Training Center, trail passes and race fees. Athletes participating in this weekend program are encouraged to bring their own equipment, but equipment will be available for those who need it. The cost for the Learn to Ski program is $25 per person, which includes clinics, trail pass and rental equipment.

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