Monday, February 18, 2013
Local program helps teen amputees learn to ski
PARK CITY — Park City Mountain Resort joined Shriners Hospital for Children to give young amputees a chance to ski Utah's famous slopes. The Un-Limb-ited Ski and Snowboard Camp is an annual event that allows dozens of teens from around the world to work on and showcase their skiing abilities. "I love to ski," said Kristine Littlefield, a 13-year-old participant from Centerville. "It's one of my favorite things to do in the winter. I do diamond runs all the time." Like Littlefield, participants receive professional instruction to learn adapted skiing and snowboarding, and it's at no cost. Those who want to attend simply submit an essay to be considered for a spot at the camp, according to their website. The camp accommodates skiers of all levels of expertise. While Littlefield is a veteran for her age, Roy resident Todd Michaels skied for the first time at the camp. It's a pretty awesome opportunity for me and them to be up there on the mountain, having a good time and not having to think about being an amputee. There are some things we can do and some things we can't do, and this is something we can all do pretty well. –Kevin Clark, Shriners Hospital for Children "I started two days ago, so I'm still on the first time, but it's really fun," he said. "I played soccer for about seven years, played football for two years, and snowboarding is much better than both those combined. It's just awesome, the thrill of the mountain and everything." The camp is a place where teens like Michaels and Littlefield can break barriers and not have to think about being an amputee, said Kevin Clark, who works for Shriners and is helping with the camp. "The first day they're usually pretty timid, kind of shy and don't want to get out there and explore too much," he said. "But by day two or three, they're blending in with the group, going down the mountain as fast as they can and they're having a great time." However, it's not just a life changing opportunity for the kids, but for the adults working with them to teach them how to ski as well. "It's a pretty awesome opportunity for me and them to be up there on the mountain, having a good time and not having to think about being an amputee," he said. "There are some things we can do and some things we can't do, and this is something we can all do pretty well."