SUN VALLEY, Idaho — Several adaptive athletes are heading to Sun Valley this week for the adaptive junior nordic and alpine skiing camp.
“It’s a collaboration between Higher Ground and the Challenged Athletes Foundation," Wilson Dippo, CAF nordic coach said. "It is a junior ski camp, so it is for high school-aged athletes for both alpine skiing and cross country skiing."
Higher Ground of Sun Valley is leading alpine skiing and the Challenged Athletes Foundation is teaching nordic skiing.
"We want an opportunity for athletes to meet other athletes because particularly in these times we are all a little more isolated than we normally would be and I think that is particularly true for folks with physical disabilities," Dippo said. "And then CAF gets to do what it does best which is really lining athletes up to find success later on with sports through sports grants and travel grants to get them to future camps and future competitions."
High school adaptive athletes from all across the country are joining the camp including three from Idaho, Kennedy Littledike of Burley, Nick McGee of Middleton, and Jackson Hayes of Idaho Falls.
"It's just the idea that in a couple of years one of these kids could be competing in the Para World Cup or finding that this is a sport that they have an incredible passion for, Dippo said. "We have a wide range of abilities coming out too."
The athletes will participate in two-a-day sessions and then put their skills to the test in the Sun Valley Nordic Center Race on Saturday against other able-bodied skiers.
“We are not going to go in with any expectations," Dippo said. "It is just an opportunity to put on a race bib, and to see what other kids are doing who have participated in the sport for a long time, so that is really exciting.”
They'll also be coached by the best of the best.
"We are bringing in Greg Mallory who is a Paralympic Nordic skier himself, and coach, and then BethAnn Chamberlain who is part of the U.S. Paranordic team, and she is the head development coach," Dippo said. "So having the two of them there is going to be so awesome for the kids.”