Denver7 reporter Adam Hammond tells us how one group in Winter Park is making a big difference.
WINTER PARK, Colo -- Tyler Carter only knows one speed when he's skiing at Winter Park Resort and nothing is able to stop him.
“Skiing for me has always been freedom. It’s been a way for me to escape whatever’s going on in the world,” said Carter.
You wouldn’t be able to tell from his skills on the slopes, but Carter has a special challenge under that ski gear.
“I was born without my fibula. So when I was 1, I had my right leg below the knee amputated. And basically I learned to adapt to life,” he told Denver7.
His parents pushed him to do anything he wanted despite his challenge.
Now a pro-skier working with the National Sports Center for the Disabled, Carter said he started his training at Winter Park since he was about 10-years-old.
Currently, he and athletes from around the world are training for the next Paralympic games.
Carter recalls the games in Sochi as one of the greatest moments of his life.
“My favorite moment was opening ceremonies. I was able to be up in the front of the crowd and walk right behind the U.S. flag,” said Carter.
Tyler’s coach, Erik Peterson, proudly remembers that moment.
“To see him do that walk in the parade and be part of that and watching him race and represent this country is an amazing thing,” said Peterson.
That’s one of the reasons Peterson is dedicating his career to helping other athletes with mental or physical disabilities chase their dreams.
Their programs aren’t just for pros like Carter, and they revolve around adaptive skiing. They also have summer programs like horseback riding and whitewater rafting.
“Whether they want to be a Paralympic ski racer, or a snowboarder, or a Nordic skier, or whether they want to have a better quality of life this is what we do,” Peterson said.
These programs and adaptive equipment don’t come cheap, so this weekend the NSCD is holding its largest fundraiser the Wells Fargo Ski Cup.
Corporate teams will be partnered with pros like Carter and race to the bottom.
The competition is expected to raise $250,000 and that money offsets the cost of programs these athletes participate in helping them accomplish things they never imagined.
“Not everyone in the world gets to follow their dreams and goals and go out and do anything they want to in the world and it’s thanks to them that I’ve had that opportunity,” said Carter.
To learn more about the NSCD visit their website at www.nscd.org.
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