The United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) is a community-based organization of the United States Olympic Committee. Its mission is to empower the blind and visually impaired to experience sports, recreation and physical activities. It offers sports like skiing, hockey, powerlifting, judo, cycling, bowling, beep baseball and more. Since 1976, the organization has worked with more than 100,000 blind people.
Lakewood resident Chloe Poston loves to ski. The fifth grader at Rooney Ranch Elementary said her family tries to go skiing every weekend during the winter, but on a most recent weekend, she got to ski with other blind children.
Poston took part in the Winter Ski Festival in Breckinridge on Feb. 28 through March 3. The United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA), a community-based organization of the United States Olympic Committee, and the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center, a nonprofit organization that provides outdoor learning experiences to people of all abilities, partnered to supply lodging and trained ski guides to 17 blind people at the Breckenridge Ski Resort. The event marked the 10th year the USABA helped blind and visually impaired people learn how to ski at the Winter Ski Festival.
“I thought it was pretty cool how I could connect with (other blind people). I don't see (skiing blind) very differently than doing it with vision. You just can't see what's around you,” said Poston.
The ages of those who participated in the Winter Ski Festival with USABA range from five to 59 years old. They came from all around the country, and participated in alpine and nordic skiing.
“This program is one of our signature events. It has truly grown into something special, and we are pleased to mark our 10th anniversary,” said USABA Executive Director Mark Lucas in a statement.
The USABA has helped 100,000 blind people participate in sports since 1976. It offers sports like rowing, swimming, hockey, judo, cycling and more.
“It's been an incredible experience to support people who are visually impaired as they learn new skills that are challenging, exciting and help to enhance their active lifestyles,” said Greg Poulakos. Poulakos is the president of Anthem's Life Disability and Supplemental Health business, the lead sponsor of the USABA's event.
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