NSCD gives vets Paralympic experience | SkyHiNews.com

NSCD gives vets Paralympic experience

Hank Shell
An NSCD staff member and Paralympic Experience participant charge for the puck during a game of sled hockey on Tuesday, Feb. 2.
Hank Shell / Sky-Hi News |

The National Sports Center for the Disabled held its 4th Annual Paralympic Experience for Military Veterans with Disabilities at YMCA of the Rockies Snow Mountain Ranch on Wednesday, Feb. 3.

NSCD gave 25 disabled veterans the opportunity to try a number of Paralympic winter sports including cross-country skiing, Nordic biathlon, curling and sled hockey.

“What we find every time we do this is more than half of them get hooked,” said NSCD CEO Becky Zimmerman. “They’re like, ‘that was amazing. That was so much fun. Boy, I found out I can do things I didn’t know I could do anymore,’ and they really start to engage in physical activity that maybe they haven’t done for a long time.”

NSCD receives a grant from the Veterans Administration to fund the event, and veterans don’t have to pay to attend.

The layout of the event makes it especially friendly to first timers, Zimmerman said.

“If we just said, ‘hey, come ski,’ that can be kind of intimidating, so we say, ‘hey, we’ve got this really cool day and you get to do things that they do in the Paralympics.’”

Anita Shorb, from Aurora, was a cryptologic technician interpretive in the Vietnam era.

Shorb, who suffers from vision impairment, started skiing with NSCD in the ‘90s.

Strapped into a pair of Nordic skis outside the Snow Mountain Ranch Nordic Center, she was all smiles.

“It’s awesome,” Shorb said. “This is a fantastic program and a good introduction to things I’m not familiar with, like cross country skiing. So it’s great to get out and be active.”

NSCD also offers a Paralympic Experience event in the summer.

For more information, visit nscd.org.

Hank Shell can be reached at 970-557-6010

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