Today kicks off an amazing event for our beloved veterans with disabilities at Spirit Mountain Ski Area in Duluth and concludes with race day on friday, Feb. 25th. Courage Center Duluth’s annual Great Lakes Mono-Ski Madness is the largest adapted learn-to-ski event in the Midwest. This year’s event includes 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. Veterans 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 an opportunity for people with disabilities, ages 8 and up, to receive a high level of instruction on the slopes. The goal is 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.
A grant from the Van Gorden Fund of the Duluth based Miller-Dwan Foundation makes it all possible.