Maine Adaptive Sports & Recreation (Maine Adaptive) is having their 33rd annual Ski-A-Thon! Come be part of an amazing day!

The Winter Olympic Games are not over. From March 9th to March 18th the Paralympic Winter Games begin in PyeongChang, South Korea with over 570 athletes from over 49 countries participating. Paralympic alpine skiing was one of the foundation sports at the very first Paralympic Winter Games in 1976. Para alpine skiing has been around since just after World War II when disabled veterans from Germany and Austria adapted the sport for athletes with a disability.

Maine Adaptive’s Ski-A-Thon on March 24th provides an opportunity for all levels of adaptive athletes to come together. This event represents many different things to Maine Adaptive: an annual meeting, a family reunion, a closing ceremony for the winter season, or the opening ceremony for a summer of adaptive sports opportunities.  More than 400 Maine Adaptive students, volunteers, and community members will gather on the slopes of their host partner, Sunday River, to celebrate the accomplishments and successes of disabled athletes of all ages who participate in Maine Adaptive’s year-round sport and recreation programming.

Desirae LeBlanc, a occupational therapy student at University New England and a recent year-round Maine Adaptive volunteer, is eager to be a team member of Surf & Turf helping to generate support for a program that encourages individuals to get outside, do what they love, and live well. The impact of such activity is far reaching. Maymelee Bruns, is one individual that Desirae has met through Maine Adaptive. Maymelee is an adaptive athlete and proudly serves as a team captain for River Valley Skiers and has taken part in the Ski-A-Thon for more than 5 years. Her favorite part of the day, in addition to taking a few turns on the slopes, is feeling the energy from the newer participants who express with a bright smile that they had an ‘awesome time’.

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Now in its 33rd year, this year’s themed event, Sun Splash will serve as a kick-off to Maine Adaptive’s summer programming while celebrating another successful winter season. The Ski-A-Thon is one of the largest single-day nonprofit events in the state of Maine and raises nearly half of Maine Adaptive’s annual operating funds, which provides equipment and programming to nearly 500 adults and children at no cost to the participant.

 

Spectators are encouraged to attend this day-long event. For those wishing to be inspired or want to understand how the adaptive programs work, this event will provide you with the opportunity to feel the impact of everyone coming together to support adaptive athletes right here in our state. And who knows, you might just be watching a future Paralympian racing down the slopes.