Veterans Winter Sports

Veterans prepare to hit the slopes during the 28th Annual NDVWSC in Snowmass Village, Colo. Photo Christopher DiVirgilio

Veterans hit the slopes of Colorado

Nearly 400 ill and injured veterans and active-duty service men and women from across the nation are in Snowmass, Colorado this week for the 28th Annual National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic (NDVWSC). Co-hosted by DAV (Disabled American Veterans), the leading veteran service organization supporting wounded, ill and injured veterans of all eras, and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the clinic promotes rehabilitation through adaptive Alpine and Nordic skiing and offers an introduction to other adaptive activities and sports. This year's event kicked off on Saturday with opening ceremonies, and will run through Friday, April 4.

NDVWSC is recognized as the world leader in adaptive winter sports instruction. Participants are exposed to the very latest in adaptive equipment, which is often retrofitted on the spot to fit each individual's unique needs. Nearly 200 specially trained, certified ski instructors, other rehabilitative specialists and dedicated volunteers assist participants. The clinic offers a range of programs, seminars and activities, including adaptive skiing in sit-skis, mono-skis and bi-skis, scuba diving, rock climbing, wheelchair self-defense, sled hockey and snowmobiling.

US Navy veteran Laurie Wood hits the ice during the 28th NDVWSC in Snowmass Village, Colo. Photo Christopher DiVirgilio

Clinic attendees include men and women service members and veterans with profound disabilities such as spinal cord injuries, orthopedic amputations, visual impairments, certain neurological problems and other injuries. Veterans with inpatient or outpatient status at a Department of Veterans Affairs medical facility receive first priority for participating in the clinic. The event has been a starting point for many Paralympic athletes.

To date nearly 8,000 ill and injured American veterans have participated in the Winter Sports Clinic. In addition to facilitation by DAV and VA, sponsors such as Ford Motor Company, Cisco, Prudential, UnitedHealthcare Military and Veterans, Veterans Canteen Service,, DAV Department of Missouri and DAV Missouri Chapter 2 give support and time, including volunteer activities alongside participants.

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