TRUCKEE, CA — The High Fives Non-Profit Foundation is heading to the deep south of Mississippi for some skiing. Brooks Lake in Brandon, Mississippi is home to Unlimited Skiing Water Ski School, owned and run by Tahoe’s own, Bill and Denise Bowness. The Mississippi Trip will be from September 6-11, 2011 and The High Fives Foundation will be taking six athletes and a media team to test their skills behind a boat.
High Fives Foundation Co-Founder and President, Roy Tuscany said, “We are bringing together a handful of the most positive, hard-working, and energized adaptive athletes in the world to improve our winter skiing skills in the heart of the south at the water-ski camp Unlimited Skiing run by Bill and Denise Bowness”
The High Fives’ Winter Empowerment Fund – Highlighted Athlete, Landon McGauley will be reunited with his winter ski coach Bill Bowness and is looking to gain new body mechanics and insight that will improve his on-snow skiing abilities. The Mississippi Trip will be funded through the efforts of The Epic Man: “The Epic Man gives a select group of people the chance to push their physical limits through a one-of-a-kind adventure, while raising funds for their favorite charities. Participants challenge themselves to “Be Epic”, which in turn inspires others to carry on the Epic message.“
Traveling to Mississippi along with the six High Fives Foundation athletes will be a media team consisting of Trevor Clark (photography), Nik David (video), and Adam Baillargeon (VP/Marketing – High Fives Foundation). Nik David from Unofficial Networks will be shooting the third Installment of the Landon McGauley Project as well as other athlete footage.
Here are the six athletes High Fives is taking to Brandon, Mississippi on an adaptive water skiing adventure:
· Alana Nichols: Alana currently resides in the Denver, CO area and is a six-time Paralympic medalist in both Skiing and Basketball. She has competed in the X-Games and is a recent ESPY nominee for Top Female Athlete with a Disability.
· Mark Urich: Mark currently resides in the Denver, Co area and is pursuing his US Paralympic dream of making the 2014 Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia. A competitive ski racer, Mark was born with Proximal Femoral Focal Deficiency (P.F.F.D.), which caused him to have an amputation of his right leg. His drive and determination have led to a budding career in the ski racing community.
· Roy Tuscany: Roy is a former professional freestyle skier
who’s career came to an abrupt halt when he overshot a jump in Mammoth, CA leaving him paralyzed from T-12 down. After years of therapy Roy is walking again, and in 2009 Roy formed the High Fives Foundation to give back to the communities that supported him throughout his recovery.
· Steve Wallace: Originally from Vermont, Steve attended Stratton Mountain School where he had a successful race career. He suffered a T-9 incomplete spinal cord injury in 2008, while skiing at Squaw Valley and in 2010 became the High Fives Foundation’s first grant recipient, and was reintroduced to the sport that he loved.
· Phil Hoban: After graduating from UVM in 2005 Phil moved out to Squaw Valley where he quickly made a name for himself in the freeskiing community. On New Year’s Day (2011) was involved in a skiing accident that left him an C-5 incomplete tetraplegic. Phil has made a miraculous recovery and continues to work hard to return to skiing within one year of his accident.
· Landon McGauley: Landon currently lives in Quesnel, British Columbia. While riding in a professional downhill mountain bike event last year he crashed rendering him paralyzed from the chest down, a T-4 incomplete. Landon has set a goal to make the 2014 Paralympic Games in Socchi, Russia as a ski racer and with the help of his coach Bill Bowness not much is standing in front of him.